Countries are saying they won't deal with Hamas and now pulling financial aid, which they need to support their government (did anyone realize we gave them so much money?). Hamas and their constituents are quickly going to find themselves in a world of hurt. It won't survive to the spring without foreign aid - any predictions on how they will react?
I honestly didn't know we (the world) gave them so much money. From what this article is saying, it doesn't sound like the PA can exist even for a month without this aid. That doesn't leave Hamas with a lot of options.A Hamas leader has asked the global community not to cut aid to the Palestinian Authority. Even before the militant Islamic group embarks on its first effort at governing, it faces serious problems — international isolation because of its extremist policies and an inherited money crunch.
Acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday that after Hamas sets up a government, Israel will stop transferring tens of millions of dollars a month to the Palestinians in customs and taxes. Foreign donors, who have annually made up a huge budget shortfall, are also balking at funding a Hamas regime.
The most immediate crisis, even before Hamas has a chance to form a government, is payday. The Palestinian Authority coffers are empty and the average transfer of $54 million a month from Israel could make the difference between paying salaries of security forces and civil servants or failing to meet the payroll.
On a larger scale, Palestinian experts estimate that the budget shortfall for this year will again approach $1 billion. Up to now the deficit has been covered by Western aid, but that might stop.
The United States gave the Palestinian Authority $400 million in direct aid last year and several million more through various U.N. charities, said Jacob Walles, the U.S. consul-general in Jerusalem. President Bush has said the United States will not deal with Hamas as long as it seeks Israel's destruction.