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EU Approves $124 Million In Aid To PA After Israel Blocks Transfer Of Palestinian Funds

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Purveyor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 11:42 AM
Original message
EU Approves $124 Million In Aid To PA After Israel Blocks Transfer Of Palestinian Funds
By Reuters

The European Union said on Friday it would provide an extra 85 million euros (124 million dollars) to the Palestinian Authority to help pay salaries of essential workers and to support vulnerable families.

The move was decided on after Israel on Sunday blocked the transfer of 105 million dollars in customs duties and other levies it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, following a deal to reunite the two rival Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah.

A European Commission statement said the EU funds were being advanced under an accelerated procedure at the request of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to meet urgent financial needs.

The statement said 45 million euros would go toward salaries and pensions of vital workers, mainly doctors, nurses and teachers. A further 40 million would go to social allowances for vulnerable Palestinian families.

MORE...

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/eu-approves-124-million-in-aid-to-pa-after-israel-blocks-transfer-of-palestinian-funds-1.360273
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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. Good on them.
:thumbsup:
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King_David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 03:02 AM
Response to Reply #1
15. With a lot of EU countries going belly under.
Edited on Sat May-07-11 03:02 AM by King_David

Greek,Portuguese,Irish and soon to be Spanish bailouts,wasting money on potential terrorists is sure to elevate their countries out of deep crisis.

Thankfully the USA will never be so foolish.

Our democratic party reps. in Florida would never allow it.

:toast:
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ave Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-11 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #15
24. I will not compare it to king Solomons wisdom, but
Edited on Tue May-10-11 10:31 AM by ave
I would say it is more majestic to help out than to let starve.

I hope the representatives, as well as the citizens, of Florida act like that for their own people in need. I understood there are quite a few of them due to falsifications by financial entities. But I can be wrong, my impression is only based on what I heard about it and am well aware that is not really comprehensive.

Cheers to you too.



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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
2. Good for the EU, it should be noted that for all the Hamas hysteria Hamas will no longer
be in power after next week, according to the unity agreement
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. Hamas will no longer be in power next week? Are you freaking kidding?
Who are they going to surrender power to?

Who will they give their weapons to?
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. The interim unity government
as part of the unity agreement both Hamas and Fatah dismantle their respective governments and a unity government comes into power in both the West Bank and Gaza

somehow it could seem this disappoints you or you wish to refute it can you provide any actual facts not opinions that will somehow be claimed as fact
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. So Hamas will not disarm, will they? They'll still rule by the gun. n/t
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. they will not 'rule' at all n/t
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Yes, Hamas will just surrender all weapons to this "unity" interim gov't. Please.
Edited on Fri May-06-11 05:02 PM by shira
We'll see, won't we?

Understand that when they don't disarm, they'll be an illegal militia that can feel free to work contrary to the interests of the interim gov't. For example, Gaza will not operate the same as the West Bank. It doesn't now. What makes you think it will due to this agreement?

But please feel free to dream on.
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. the details will be overseen by Egypt
Cairo to oversee Palestinian security talks

The unity agreement signed this week called for a security oversight committee to work out the details of the thorny issue of reforming the partisan security forces who have battled each other in the past.

"We were informed today by Egyptian officials of the formation of a panel of experts including General Ibrahim Mohammed, the deputy chief of Egyptian intelligence," said Yasser Al-Wadiah, an independent politician from Gaza.

Wadiah returned Thursday night from Cairo where he had attended the signing of the surprise reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah.

The accord called for the two to work together to form an interim government of technocrats unaffiliated with either party, who would govern until presidential and legislative elections to be held within a year.

http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=385335
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-09-11 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #12
17. Who represents Egypt at this point?
When are they scheduled to hold elections?
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-11 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. well you'll just have to look it up , be sure to let us know what you find n/t
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-11 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. Look it up where?
I have no idea where I might find such information.

Have there been any official statements that you know about?
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-11 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. well then it must remain a mystery n/t
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-11 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Rendering "the details will be overseen by Egypt" to be a meaningless statement
Since it is a "mystery" who represents Egypt at this time and when they will hold elections.
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-11 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. ah I was wondering where this was leading
Edited on Tue May-10-11 10:24 AM by azurnoir
so Egypt has no government till elections are held ? it is at least in your opinion an anarchy at the moment?
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JonScholar Donating Member (145 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. They'll still have their paramilitary forces, they just wont be involved in the government of gaza
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
3. Good news. n/t
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JonScholar Donating Member (145 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
4. This is great news
As other have stated, the unity government actually removes Hamas from power. That Israel has chosen to block funds to the PA despite this suggests their opposition is towards Palestinian Unity, not Hamas in government.
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Welcome to DU. n/t
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JonScholar Donating Member (145 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. Thanks!
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
6. 'Demonstrative patriotism'
Snip*

In essence Israel has no legal right to block the transfer of the money to the Palestinians. However, occasionally, for various political reasons, prime ministers and finance ministers opt to use the blocking of the tax money in an act of "demonstrative" patriotism. This gains them headlines, and once that is over they transfer the money.

During the second intifada Ariel Sharon froze the transfer of Palestinian tax monies for nearly two years. Israel then returned all the funds. In February 2006, when Hamas won the elections and a Palestinian government was set up with its participation, Israel once more froze the money transfers for a long period - until July 2007, at which time President Mahmoud Abbas dispersed the unity government. There have also been shorter periods during which the transfers were frozen.

At the treasury they noted that Steinitz wants unequivocal assurances that the funds Israel releases to the Palestinians will not serve Hamas or Palestinian terrorism against Israel. For Steinitz the Paris agreement reflects a peace agreement, and the minister is unwilling to accept the fact that Hamas has thousands of missiles and rockets aimed at Israel.

According to ministry sources, the freezing of the funds sends the message to the world that Israel views the agreement between the PA and Hamas gravely and that the Palestinians will have to choose what they prefer: A shared account with a terrorist organization, or continued cooperation with Israel.

At the treasury they point out that Israel is not the sole country in the world that has frozen assets. The U.S., for example, froze the assets of Iran and Libya due to their support of terrorism.

Steinitz's move is not supported by everyone in the government. Defense Minister Ehud Barak, for example, was quick to express his opposition since it runs contrary to the Paris agreement.

International sources are also pressuring Israel to allow the transfer of the funds.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/finance-minister-ridiculous-to-give-pa-money-days-before-signing-deal-with-hamas-1.360089
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 07:10 PM
Response to Original message
16. The PA sure gets a lot of foreign aid
I wonder if that money couldn't be better spent at home.

They must have a strong lobby.
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ave Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-11 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #16
22. In 2009, a couple of weeks after Operation Cast Lead, a documentary was made
about the aid that had been given by donor countries for (re)building and support of economic development in Gaza.
Translated into English it is called No money for Gaza. (Pas dargent pour Gaza or Geen geld voor Gaza).
But for different reasons than you suggest.

One of the persons in the documentary is - among others such as for example a former ambassador to Israel and Palestinian entrepreneurs - Shir Hever, Israeli economist who writes about the Economy of the Occupation and investigated how the aid was spent.

It is a documentary about the costs of the destruction in the occupied territories, about the funds that were provided in order to (re)build and develop civil projects and how the funds were used. And how these projects were then destroyed again. In the past, some projects were destroyed and rebuilt 3 or 4 times. The central question is if the Palestinians do benefit from the aid.
Shir Hever gives some remarkable numbers and specifics of the mechanisms of the aid.
It turns out that a large part of the funds, 45% according to the estimate of the UN but more then that according to the estimate of Shir Hever, directly went to the economy of Israel.

In a sense as long as the Palestinians are oppressed, they are used as an asset and export product by Israel. They created the destruction and misery and then benefited from it through the funds of donor nations. And then repeat the cycle.

By the way, it was like that before anyone had hardly ever heard of 'Hamas. It just seems to have deteriorated with every cycle.

One could wonder which lobby was the strongest


Shir Hever can be seen at 1400, at 1528 and at 3049 in No money for Gaza:
http://player.omroep.nl/?aflID=9219683


The documentary is not in English but the interviews in Israel and Gaza are.
Here is the complete French translation (printed in blue, including the names of the other participants in the documentary):
http://www.achr.nu/news.fr221.htm

Info about the Economy of the Occupation and Alternative Information Centre:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_Occupation_(Bulletin)
The Economy of the Occupation (EOC) is a series of publications about the socio-economic aspects of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The EOC is published by the Alternative Information Center (AIC) since June 2005. According to the publications mission statement, the EOC aims to offer a "new approach to the economic situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel" and to "provide accessible and singular analyses of the socio-economic interests behind the Israeli occupation of Palestine."
()

And AICs website:
http://www.alternativenews.org/english/

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