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Monday, June 04, 2007

Christmas Id el-Fitr in June: Olmert to join shower of money to 'Palestinians'

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert will be meeting with 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen on Thursday in Jericho.

The 'Palestinians' are enjoying Christmas Id el-Fitr in June right now, with Saudi Arabia ($50 million), Qatar ($44 million), the United Arab Emirates ($80 million) and Norway ($10 million) all having transferred money to the Hamas-led government. The money is allegedly to be used to pay 'salaries' to 'Palestinian' 'civil servants,' half of whom are members of the 'security forces' like Fatah's Force 17 and the office of murderer Muhammed Dahlan.

The US and the EU are said to be 'considering' joining the party; on Saturday the Dutch foreign ministry announced that it would be sending the 'Palestinians' a 'special grant' of $8.4 million in the coming months, claiming that this is also in Israel's best interests:
Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen insisted that the funding is "also in Israel's best interests," as the money would improve the humanitarian situation for 17,000 policemen and their families.

"This allowance will not only help increase safety in the territories, but also will improve living conditions for police officers and their families," the Dutch ministry stated in a press release.

"The Palestinian civilian police have played an important role in recent months in containing and calming disturbances among Palestinians, notably in the Gaza Strip; the police must be strengthened to maintain and enhance safety and public order in the Palestinian territories."
Yes, of course. Fat and happy 'Palestinian policemen' are much more likely to lift a finger to stop Kassam attacks than skinny and hungry ones, aren't they?

But what's worse is that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert, whose government is holding some $700 million in 'tax money' that it has been withholding since the Hamas-led government took power in March 2006 - an amount that dwarfs the amounts cited above - is now planning to join the party:
"We'll see what they ask for," a senior government official said when asked whether Israel would release some of the estimated $700 million in Palestinian tax and tariff revenues it has been withholding since Hamas formed its first government in March 2006.


"Israel is willing to check to see whether it is able, within the existing mechanism, to release some of the funds," the official said.

Israel is under increasing pressure to release at least some of the money, and government officials said the issue came up in nearly every meeting Olmert held with foreign leaders. For instance, visiting US Sen. Joe Lieberman brought it up on Sunday when he met with Olmert after meeting with Abbas in Ramallah. [Et tu Joe? CiJ]

The Middle East Quartet, in a statement released after its meeting in Berlin last week, said, "The resumption of transfers of tax and customs revenues collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinian Authority would have a significant impact on the Palestinian economy. The Quartet encouraged Israel and the Palestinian Authority to consider resumption of such transfers via the Temporary International Mechanism to improve the economic and humanitarian conditions in the West Bank and Gaza."

Israel transferred some $100 million to the Palestinians earlier this year, but government officials said Jerusalem was not satisfied that the mechanism had worked effectively and that all the money had gone - as earmarked - for humanitarian needs or to beef up Abbas's Force 17 "Presidential Guard."

"We are still waiting to see an improved mechanism," one government official said.
Israel has made the mistake already of transferring weapons to Force 17. The weapons were then used against us. If Olmert releases money to the 'Palestinians' now, it will be removing the finger from the dike that's holding back the flood waters of cash. And the more cash the 'Palestinians' get, the more of it is likely to go to weapons.


At 11:44 PM, Blogger waltc said...

I don't understand why Ohlmert doesn't tie releasing "some of the funds" to a specific action by the palis. Such as, oh I dunno, maybe quit launching rockets into our cities?

At 10:17 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Walt C,

Because as soon as he releases the money, they will start launching rockets again. He shouldn't be releasing money at all. What he SHOULD be doing is to say that each time a rocket falls on an Israeli town, $x million will be released to the town to compensate its residents out of the money being 'held' for the 'Palestinians.'


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