View Full Version : Fatah/PA Take the Yankee Dollar - US funding Fatah election campaign to tune of 2m

01-23-2006, 06:50 PM
Fatah attacked for taking US funds
Al Jazeera (http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/ED428660-01C9-43DC-B6ED-924CE279B4BE.htm)

Palestinian parties competing in legislative elections on Wednesday have criticised the reported US financial assistance to Fatah's election campaign.

The Washington Post On Sunday reported that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) gave $2 million to the Palestinian Authority (PA) to boost its image before the polls.

The paper said the assistance was intended to counter Islamic resistance group Hamas, which the US considers a terrorist organisation.

Fatah is the de facto governing party of the PA and faces a formidable challenge from Hamas, which is participating in legislative elections for the first time.

Election law

Azmi Nibali, campaign manager of the leftist Freedom and Social Justice list, headed by Ahmad Majdalani, told Aljazeera.net that electoral law was being breached.

"This is a clear violation of the election law," he said. "Receiving money from foreign sources is forbidden and the PA and Fatah ought to clarify their position in this regard.

"If it is OK for the PA to receive money from the US or any other foreign entity, then it should make the money available to all Palestinian factions and candidates without favouring anybody."

Nibali said that "receiving money from the US carries a certain price and has serious ramifications, and we shall raise this issue before Palestinian courts".

Majdalani, a former PA minister, condemned "this brazen foreign interference in the Palestinian elections".

Not without a price

"Nobody funds somebody's election campaign without a price," he said during a press conference in Ram Allah on Monday. "And we know what the price will be - it will be in the form of political concessions and acting at America's beck and call."

He demanded that all political factions and candidates should show transparency regarding the financing of their respective election campaigns.

Hamas also denounced the funding, calling it an "American bribe" to Fatah and saying it should give the Palestinian people another reason to vote for "those whose hands are not tainted with American money".

Nayif Rajub, a Hamas candidate in the southern West Bank, said: "I want to ask the Palestinian people. Do you trust those who run their campaign with American grants and American assistance?

"Will you give your votes to those who work according to the American agenda?"

PA and Fatah officials refused to answer questions.

A US consulate official in Jerusalem told Aljazeera on Monday that the money was being spent to help the "democratic process" in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Another official, James Bever, the USAID mission director for the West Bank and Gaza Strip, was quoted as saying that "we are here to support the democratic process, but we don't support parties that are on the terrorism list".

01-23-2006, 06:53 PM
Hamas, Fatah Signal Interest in Coalition on Final Day of Campaigning for Palestinian Elections
Associated Press (http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/P/PALESTINIAN_ELECTIONS?SITE=TXMID&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT)

The ruling Fatah Party and the Islamic militant Hamas traded bitter accusations and made impassioned last-minute appeals for support Monday on the final day of campaigning for Palestinian parliamentary elections.

With polls showing Wednesday's election too close to call, Hamas and Fatah signaled an interest in forming a coalition after the vote. Hamas officials said even if they win a majority, they would prefer lower-profile Cabinet posts and to let Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas deal with the Israelis.

That would likely rule out a Hamas-run government, an alarming prospect for Israel and the West that would spell trouble for future peace prospects.

"We will not put obstacles in the way of Abu Mazen, but we want to correct his policy, to support him in how he can bring more rights for the Palestinians," said Ghazi Hamad, a Hamas ideologue and candidate in Gaza. He referred to Abbas by his nickname.

Across Gaza and the West Bank, Palestinians plastered posters on walls and electric poles, strung up banners and held large rallies to drum up support.

"Don't let anyone steal your achievements," Fatah candidate Samir Masharawi told followers in Gaza City. "It's not a shame to negotiate ... It's a shame to give up."

Fatah candidates in Gaza joined hundreds of supporters on a pilgrimage to the home of Yasser Arafat, hoping to parlay the memory of the late iconic leader into votes.

Led by candidate Mohammed Dahlan, the chanting crowd pledged its commitment "to the blood of the martyrs, to the wounds of the wounded, to the suffering of the prisoners - and to vote for the Fatah list."