Sunday, January 29, 2006

Hamas takes hard line on `donor blackmail'

In response to a number of statements by World leaders conditioning future aid on Hamas rejecting terroism and recognizing Israel's right to exist, Hamas leaders essentially told them to go pound sand.BBC NEWS | Middle East | Hamas rejects donor 'blackmail'

Foremost among them was Ismail Haniya, who headed Hamas' election list (and is also wanted by Israel for his involvement in terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians).

Haniya told al-Reuters "This aid cannot be a sword over the heads of the Palestinian people and will not be material to blackmail our people, to blackmail Hamas and the resistance. It is rejected."

President George Bush told CBS news that the US would freeze aid unless Hamas renounced violence and stopped calling for Israel's destruction.

"If they don't, we won't deal with them," he told US TV channel CBS News. "Aid packages won't go forward... It's their choice."

Part of Hamas' confidence in taking the hard line against the US and EU no doubt comes from Iranian assurances to make up any shortfasl in financing. I'm certain this was one of the topics discussed in President Ahmadinejad's meeting for Hamas kinpin Khaled Mashaal, as reported here previously.J O S H U A P U N D I T: Terror conclave in Syria

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