U.S. to Redirect Aid for Palestinians

(Washington Post) Glenn Kessler - After an exhaustive review, the U.S. plans to terminate assistance for building projects in Palestinian territories and redirect much of its annual aid toward basic humanitarian needs such as education, health, and food, as well as increased assistance for democracy promotion, Bush administration officials said Thursday. The UN Relief and Works Agency is set to receive about a 30% increase in aid. The shift in aid priorities was set in motion after the election victory by the radical Islamic organization Hamas in January. Shortly after Hamas won, the U.S. and other key bankrollers of the PA said they would end assistance as soon as Hamas took control of the cabinet, unless the organization recognized the right of Israel to exist. Adding to the pressure on Hamas, U.S. officials appear increasingly confident that Arab governments that have traditionally backed the PA, such as Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Libya, and the UAE, will begin to limit their support in the wake of the Hamas victory.

2006-04-07 00:00:00

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