$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.

    Mahmoud Abbas will control the funds

    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


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'Just another Indian': Surviving Canada's residential schools

    'Just another Indian': Surviving Canada's residential schools

    A survivor of schools that took Indigenous children from their families shares her story of abuse, neglect and healing.

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    Kenya banned FGM in 2011, but Europeans still bring their daughters to underground clinics there to be cut.

    What it means to love a dead child

    What it means to love a dead child

    You must forget all you thought you knew about grief when the landscape of your life has been demolished.