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July 27, 2006
Hamas Skims Off The Top

Remember all the sob stories Hamas plied about how the international sanctions on their group had Palestinians starving in the street? Journalists from around the world issued hysterical alarms about how cutting off salaries of Palestinian Authority civil servants would collapse the economy and cause untold human suffering? Apparently, all of that concern did not reach the upper levels of Hamas itself, which has skimmed the international aid it has received for salaries of senior officials:

Some of the Arab League money recently transferred to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has been paid out to Hamas ministers this week, according to PA sources. ...

The Arab League raised money to help the Palestinians in March but was unable to transfer it until earlier this month. America has pressured banks not to allow money to flow to the PA, lest they be held in violation of US anti-terror laws, which forbid sending money to organizations that the government has designated terrorist groups, as Hamas has been. At the time of the transfer, the Arab League declined to specify how the $100 million provided by it and Saudi Arabia had reached Abbas.

Now in Abbas's hands, a PA official confirmed to The Jerusalem Post, it was used to make "downpayments" this week to all civil servants in the PA - including the prime minister and all the cabinet ministers, even though they are members of Hamas. The official stressed that the money was given to the PA and not to Hamas directly, but that there could be no discrimination in the payment of government workers.

Only a fraction of the total salaries owed to workers was paid.

This proves one of the absolute truths of international aid: little of the aid gets through a fundamentally corrupt organization.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 27, 2006 5:07 PM

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» Skimmed? from Neo Warmonger
I'm sorry to disagree, but with all the ill will in the world towards both parties, I just can't see anything sinister here. This is not skimming, this is what the money was donated for paying salaries. [Read More]

Tracked on July 28, 2006 3:15 AM

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