[QODLink]
Archive
$50m aid passed to Abbas
The Arab League has transferred about $50 million to the Palestinians, the first funding since international aid was cut off after the Hamas won legislative elections, officials say.
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2006 21:10 GMT
Mahmoud Abbas will control the funds
The Arab League has transferred about $50 million to the Palestinians, the first funding since international aid was cut off after the Hamas won legislative elections, officials say.

Saudi Arabia was also expected to transfer another $50 million to the Palestinian Authority soon, the Arab League said.

Nabil Shaath, an aide to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, said the Arab aid money bypassed the Hamas government and was transferred directly to Abbas on Monday.

The Palestinian president will control how the funds are spent, he said.

The EU, the US and other donors froze hundreds of millions of dollars in direct aid to the Palestinian government after Hamas won elections in January, demanding that the group recognise Israel and cease all support of terrorism.

Since March, Arab states have collected more than $100 in aid for the Palestinians, but the money could not be transferred because international banks refused to allow the Arab League to transfer funds electronically to Palestinian territories, fearing sanctions from the US, which labels Hamas a terror group.

Hope rekindled

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Amr Moussa, the Arab League secretary-general, Shaath said the organisation had transferred half of the $100 million and Saudi Arabia planned to transfer the other half later in the day.

"This is a glimpse of hope ... and a step toward squeezing-out of the siege," Shaath said.

Moussa said the Hamas-led government had had knowledge of the transfer. "The transfer was in complete co-ordination with the Palestinian government," he said

Shaath and Moussa did not specify how the funds were transferred to the Palestinian Authority on Monday, or where the money had come from.

The Hamas government, nearly bankrupted by the sanctions, has resorted to bringing cash into the occupied territories in suitcases to try to stay afloat.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.