Donors Beware

[Jerusalem Post] Editorial - 3,500 Hamas "security-force" salaries have been paid by the Fatah-led Salaam Fayad government in the West Bank. At first this was passed off as a computer error. The latest version is that a higher-up in the PA Finance Ministry may have been bought off by Hamas. The fact that money from ostensible moderates made its way to incontrovertible fanatics is telling. Something is seriously wrong in Abbas' Palestinian Authority if, quite apart from continuing to pay the salaries of Hamas parliamentarians and, reportedly, planning to buy them all new $70,000 cars as well, it ends up underpinning the very militiamen who so violently expelled Fatah from Gaza in June. It can only deepen the doubts about how far the PA can be trusted, even under the financial stewardship of the ostensibly responsible Fayad. The Israeli government, following much heated public debate, reluctantly decided to transfer to Ramallah NIS 400 million of tax revenues that had been withheld out of the fear that such funds would reach Hamas and be used to bankroll its terrorist schemes. Now some of these funds have ended up precisely where Israel was solemnly assured they would not. If this proves indicative of a wider financial malaise then, as with Fatah's chronic failure to stem terror, it becomes immaterial whether Fatah couldn't or wouldn't live up to its undertakings. The end result is what counts.

2007-08-13 01:00:00

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