Will Arab States Underwrite Hamas Government?

(AP/San Diego Union Tribune) Mohammed Daraghmeh - Arab League official Mohammad Sobeih said no new funds have been sent to the Palestinians since the new government took office, though some nations are paying off previous pledges. He said Algeria sent $37 million to Mahmoud Abbas, bypassing the Hamas-led government. Analysts say Arab states are reluctant in part because they see Hamas as part of a global Islamic movement that is challenging autocratic Arab regimes. "You're talking about a democratically elected Islamic government that is part of the wider Muslim Brotherhood network in the region," said Mouin Rabbani of the International Crisis Group in Amman, Jordan. In addition, the reluctance of Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Kuwait to cross the U.S. is another reason for their stinginess. A Jordan-based Arab diplomat said he doubted that oil-rich Gulf Arab states, particularly Saudi Arabia and the UAE, would step in to make up for the shortfall of Western aid. Even before Hamas rose to power, Arab states had a history of shortchanging the PA. Since 2003, Arab countries have paid just 30% of pledges. Arafat's tilt toward Saddam Hussein before the 1991 Gulf War, and decades-old Palestinian attempts to topple the regimes in Jordan and Lebanon, created bad blood with the Arab world, analysts said.

2006-04-12 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive