Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Abbas hands over the money

According to Ha’aretz
“Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) gave some 5,000 members of Hamas' special "operational force" salaries this week, Palestinian sources say. The salaries came from funds the Arab League sent to Abu Mazen's office to pay the wages of 170,000 PA officials. Most members of the "operational force" belong to Hamas' military wing, Iz al-Din al-Qassam, led by Yussef al-Zahar, the Palestinian foreign minister's brother.”
Although a few weeks ago the PA and Hamas signed an agreement, which had brought many of the Hamas fighters into the fold, before that this operational force had spent a great deal of time fighting Fatah. Nor have any of the force agreed to abandon their terrorist activities or to recognize Israel’s right to exist.

In itself, that is nothing new. There have been many protests about the non-payment of salaries and protests in that part of the world are apt to turn violent. There have also been protests by the many unemployed, demanding that the Palestinian Authority find them work, a task that would be beyond most governments.

However, the EU is not uninvolved:
“According to Palestinian sources, the European Union operates a body which, together with Abu Mazen, supervises the transfer of the payments from the Arab League. On Saturday it approved $89 million for payment of salaries going back to the month of May. However some 20 special advisers to the government were not permitted to receive payments. The operational force was nevertheless allowed to receive money because it joined the Palestinian police force six weeks ago as part of Abu Mazen's agreement with Hamas.”
So much for Hamas fighters not getting the money that is being handed over to the PA for humanitarian purposes.

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