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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Hamas and Fatah both happy to be rid of Fayyad

Both Hamas and Fatah are expressing relief at the resignation of suit-and-tie clad 'Palestinian' 'Prime Minister' Salam Fayyad. But the reasons for that relief ought to give the West pause before it starts rushing to place billions of dollars in 'Palestinian' coffers.
If Hamas and Fatah had ever agreed on anything, it was the need to get rid of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad. That's why Fayad's resignation on Saturday was received with a sigh of relief by many Hamas and Fatah officials.

For them, Fayad, from the Third Way Party, was not only an obstacle to the formation of a "unity government," but as an independent figure, he was regarded by both parties as an outsider.

Many Fatah members have long been demanding the removal of Fayad from power, saying that his efforts to reform the PA were being carried out at the expense of Fatah's standing.

What bothered Fatah was that most of the international aid was going directly to Fayad's government and not into the bank accounts of its leaders in Ramallah. Fatah needs a lot of money to buy loyalty and maintain its grip on the PA, and that's where Fayad was not being cooperative.

Fatah was also worried by the fact that Fayad's government was not dominated by its men, as was the case in almost all the previous Palestinian governments. Most of Fayad's ministers were not even affiliated with Fatah.


Hamas had also held Fayad's government responsible for the massive crackdown on its supporters in the West Bank conducted in coordination with Israel and the US.

During recent reconciliation talks with Fatah in Cairo, Hamas reiterated its demand that Fayad be dismissed from his job to pave the way for the formation of a national unity government. The primary goal of the proposed government would be to secure financial aid from the international community to rebuild the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead.

Hamas and Fatah were worried that the international community would insist on channeling the funds only to Fayad's government, a move that would have further strengthened his status among the Palestinians at their expense.

Fayad's main fear was that if the reconciliation talks failed, both Fatah and Hamas would hold him responsible. As one of his aides explained, "Fayad did not want to be seen as an obstacle to achieving national unity or securing international aid for the Gaza Strip." [In other words, he wanted to stay alive. CiJ].

It now remains to be seen if and how the international community will continue to channel funds to the PA in the absence of Fayad, who is credited for attracting most of the financial aid from the US and the EU.
Anyone want to take bets on whether the West will be foolish enough to put all those billions in Hamas and Fatah's coffers? I'm betting that they will be foolish enough.


At 7:47 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Yep. What drives them is a hatred of the Jews, not a wish to improve the lives of the Palestinians. Altruism has nothing to do with all that $5 billion sitting in the aid pipeline.

For the West, the obstacle to its aim of a friendly Middle East is Israel.


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