June 18, 2007
The Financial Times

Israel Aims to Bolster Abbas Cabinet

by Harvey Morris

Israel reacted on Monday to the swearing in of a Palestinian emergency cabinet in the West Bank by urging the international community to release funds for the government appointed by President Mahmoud Abbas.

Tzipi Livni, Israel's foreign minister, however, said she would try to persuade European Union foreign ministers meeting in Strasbourg on Monday to continue their year-old aid boycott against the Islamist group Hamas, which refuses to recognise Israel and runs a rival administration in the Gaza Strip.

Ehud Olmert, Israel's prime minister will have talks in Washington on Monday with Vice-President Dick Cheney, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other officials to develop a joint strategy aimed at strengthening Mr Abbas's government.

Mr Olmert, who meets US President George W Bush on Tuesday has said he plans to release some $562m in customs and tax revenues that had been collected on behalf of the Palestinians and withheld while Hamas controlled the government. . . .


Enver Masud, "Mahmoud Abbas: Israel's New 'Security Subcontractor'?," The Wisdom Fund, January 16, 2005

"U.S. Supports Fattah, Hamas Wins Election," The Wisdom Fund, January 22, 2006

Jimmy Carter, "Don't Punish the Palestinians," Washington Post, February 20, 2006

Stephen Lendman, "Forty Years Of Israeli Occupation,", May 23, 2007

VIDEO: Ali Abunimah and Laila El-Haddad, "The Situation in Gaza,", June 15, 2007

[WHAT HAPPENS when one and a half million human beings are imprisoned in a tiny, arid territory, cut off from their compatriots and from any contact with the outside world, starved by an economic blockade and unable to feed their families?

Some months ago, I described this situation as a sociological experiment set up by Israel, the United States and the European Union. The population of the Gaza Strip as guinea pigs.--Uri Avnery, "The Gaza Cage," Gush Shalom, June 16, 2007]

[Israel's economy isn't booming despite the political chaos that devours the headlines but because of it. . . . In 2006 Israel exported $3.4 billion in defense products--well over a billion more than it received in US military aid. That makes Israel the fourth-largest arms dealer in the world, overtaking Britain. . . . Much of this growth has been in the so-called "homeland security" sector.--Naomi Klein, "Laboratory for a Fortressed World," Nation, June 14, 2007]

Ilan Pappe, "Towards a Geography of Peace: Wither Gaza?,", June 18, 2007

Scott Wilson, "Palestinian Leader Meets Resistance From Rival Hamas," Washington Post, June 18, 2007

Shawn Pogatchnik, "Carter Blasts US Policy on Palestinians,", June 20, 2007

[A decade before Oslo, the Israeli military government in the territories embraced an unarmed and fledgling Islamic movement, licensing Islamic schools, sports clubs, charities and the university that would become the training ground for Hamas's political leadership.--Scott Wilson, "With Hamas Takeover, Tough Calls for Israel," Washington Post, June 30, 2007]

James Brooks, "AIPAC and Mahmoud Abbas - The Undemocratic Road to Defeat,", July 16, 2007

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