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August 21, 2007

Return of the Palestinian Aid "Shell Game"

The WAFA news agency web site quotes Palestinian Information Minister Riyad Al-Maliki as saying that the Palestinian government "approved the draft budget for 2007 that amounts to $2,668 million, which comes from foreign aid." The LA Times's Ken Ellingwood also reports on August 20 that the EU has "funnelled nearly $2.5 billion in assistance this year." This figure, if accurate, is staggering, but has received little attention in the media. During all of 2006, the Palestinians received $868 million from the EU and the Palestinian Authority received $750 million from all official foreign sources. These new figures suggest aid has increased by multiples.

And with the increased flow of money, it is not surprising to read reports of money finding its way to terrorists again. The Associated Press ("EU Cuts Electricity Funding to Gaza, Says Hamas Diverting Revenues" August 20) reports on how Hamas is siphoning off funds by taking advantage of EU largesse towards the Palestinians. Ibrahim Barzak quotes deputy minister of economy Jawwad Hirzallah, "Hamas is collecting all the electricity fees and never pays the costs of the electricity...The Europeans were paying $10 million that Hamas collects from the people and doesn't pay the costs. So the European Union found itself paying the electricity company, while Hamas was pocketing the revenues."

Posted by SS at August 21, 2007 02:28 PM


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