Finally Congress and the WH agree on something. No money to Hamas without serious changes (and hopefully demonstrated, not merely lip service). This, however, doesn't seem likely.
While Hamas may have won an election, they can't be too pleased at the looming drop off in the cash flow. They inherited a bankrupt coffer, a large deficent, and a hefty PA payroll. Makes one wonder where the $1.5 bil we've given them since 1993 has gone. Needless to say, the possibility of losing financial aid without moral reform towards Israel may cause Hamas to again link arms with compadres-in-hate, Iran for financial relief.
This whole Middle East theatre is going to be more interesting than any fictional novel published. Intrigue, vendetta, political power and corruption, and high stakes. How could imagination compete with reality here?
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States warned on Friday it may cut back its $234 million aid earmarked for Palestinians this year because the militant group Hamas was expected to form a new Palestinian government.
President George W. Bush ruled out out giving aid to a Hamas government after its surprise election win on Wednesday unless it renounced violence and reversed its stance on Israel.
"They've got to get rid of that arm of their party which is armed and violent and secondly, they've got to get rid of that part of their platform that says they want to destroy Israel," Bush said in an interview with CBS News. "And if they don't, we won't deal with them. Aid packages won't go forward."
The State Department went a step further on Friday, signaling that the United States would review all money given to Palestinians through the United Nations or nongovernmental groups, in addition to direct aid to the Palestinian Authority.
"To be very clear, we do not provide money to terrorist organizations," spokesman Sean McCormack said. Hamas is classified by the United States as a terrorist group.
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