Claudia Rosett, 03.05.09...New U.S. and U.N. money for Palestine goes into a black hole.
If stuffing billions worth of aid into the Palestinian territories could end Islamist terrorism out of Gaza, it might be worth the money. But it's quite a gamble. The $900M pledged by the US (out of $4.5B pledged by the UN and 70 countries) is likely to give Hamas a boost.
That seems to be President Obama's gamble, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton jetting to a donors' conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, this past Monday, to chip in $900 million on behalf of U.S. tax payers. All told, more than 70 countries, cheered on by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, pledged a whopping total of $4.5 billion in fresh aid to the Palestinians.
The focus was largely on repairing damage to Gaza, after Israel's recent three-week battle to shut down mortar and rocket attacks out of the terrorist-controlled enclave. But, as Clinton described it, this is a nuanced effort. The broad aim is to bypass the Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists who control Gaza, and shovel resources for strictly humanitarian uses into the enclave "in coordination with" the Palestinian Authority, which is run by the U.S.-favored Fatah faction, Hamas' rival, based in the West Bank.
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