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April 26, 2006
Papa Lost His Brand-New Bag

How incompetent is the new Hamas leadership that now runs the Palestinian Authority? Apparently, they can't even hire a decent bagman any more:

Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar has had $450,000 stolen from his hotel room during his current visit to Kuwait, the Itim news agency quoted the Kuwaiti media as saying Wednesday.

According to the report, al-Zahar had asked the Kuwaiti authorities to keep the theft under wraps, but the incident was confirmed by a security official at the hotel.

The foreign minister, a senior member of Hamas, is on a tour of Arab and Muslim countries to drum up funds after Israel suspended the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority and Western donors cut off aid to the Hamas-led government.

He wanted the theft kept a secret? Understandable; I suppose that the Palestinians who elected Hamas will not be too thrilled to find that their new government isn't smart enough to refrain from leaving a half-million dollars laying around a hotel room. Supposedly they elected Hamas to fight the corruption in the Fatah-run PA, but whether they steal money or carelessly leave it out for people to pilfer, the end result is that the money isn't getting to the Palestinians. At least with Fatah, they had an income stream.

This looks like a strange attempt to get around the banking blockade that has kept pledged donations from transferring from Arab benefactors to the PA. Diplomats normally would not bother with cash, especially in this amount, for a diplomatic mission. Hamas apparently cannot rely on lines of credit while their assets are frozen. That's what happens when a government openly applauds terrorism and refuses to commit to peace.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 26, 2006 6:30 PM

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