Skip to comments.Canada Suspends Aid to Hamas-Led Gov't
Posted on 03/29/2006 11:06:16 AM PST by areafiftyone
TORONTO - Canada said Wednesday it was suspending assistance to the Palestinian Authority because the new Hamas-led government refuses to renounce violence and recognize Israel.
It was the first government besides Israel to cut off financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority since Hamas won the legislative elections in January, and other nations were expected to follow suit.
Hamas formally took power Wednesday, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swearing in its 24-member Cabinet.
Hamas and new Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh insist they won't soften the militant group's violent ideology or formally recognize its longtime nemesis.
Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said in a statement that Canada had no choice but to suspend assistance and decline any contact with the new Hamas Cabinet.
"The stated platform of this government has not addressed the concerns raised by Canada and others concerning nonviolence, the recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the roadmap for peace," MacKay said. "As a result, Canada will have no contact with the members of the Hamas Cabinet and is suspending assistance to the Palestinian Authority."
With Hamas now at the helm, the cash-strapped Palestinian government faces a crippling international economic boycott,
However, Ottawa emphasized Wednesday that it would continue giving humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people through U.N. and nongovernment organizations.
Canada, like the United States, Europe and Israel, considers Hamas a terrorist organization.
Ottawa has said, however, the Palestinian people should not be penalized over the actions of the group and currently provides $22 million in annual humanitarian aid through various United Nations and non-governmental agencies.
Washington has ruled out direct funding for a Hamas-led government, although it will continue to finance humanitarian projects for the Palestinians.
The Palestinian Authority gets a large part of its approximately $1.9 billion annual budget from overseas sources. Without money from the Arab world, Europe and the United States, a Hamas-led government would be nearly broke.
Hamas leaders have said they will look elsewhere for money and were expected to appeal to Arab states and Iran.
Ottawa is a close ally of Israel, but also a strong proponent of Palestinian statehood. Ottawa conducted its first war games with the Israeli air force last spring, yet condemned Israel when it continued to build Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
"A clear commitment by the Hamas government to the principles that we and the international community have outlined remains an essential precondition for Canada to resume any assistance to the Palestinian Authority," MacKay said.
Canada's International Cooperation Minister Josee Verner said Canada "remains committed to the ultimate goal of a negotiated, two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
She said Ottawa makes the distinction between assistance to the Palestinian Authority and the people who have suffered for decades from the daily turmoil of terrorism and poverty.
"Working with our partners and through the United Nations, its agencies and other organizations, Canada will continue to support and respond to the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people," Verner said. "Canada will also continue to work with the voices of moderation within Palestinian society."
good job canada.
Let's see if the hypocritical saudis put their money were their mouths are.
"Hamas and new Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh insist they won't soften the militant group's violent ideology . . . "
That's reason enough for all countries to suspend aid to them.
The times they are a-changin'
Hypocritical Saudis? Sure, but why aren't you screaming out for hypocritical Bush to push for stopping of aid to Hamas. We should have been the first in line to stop aid, instead we let our neighbor do it first and there is a good chance we won't stop it at all. It is against our law to support terrorist organizations, of which Hamas is one, and aid should have stopped as soon as Hamas were elected to power. WE ARE THE BIGGEST hypocits, the saudis are simply being muslims, what's our excuse?
It's nice to have Canada back. For awhile anyway.
YEAA CANADA!!! Canada showing some backbone!
What, what is this odd feeling? I've never felt this before...is it, yes, I think it is...I am feeling actual pride for my government! For the first time in my life it appears Canada has a leader who is willing to do the right thing! Who knows terrorism when he sees it! Who believes soldiers are supposed to, you know, KILL the enemy!
Harper has done more for Canada's international reputation in two months than any of our last seven or so Prime Ministers - and Parliament isn't even in session yet.
Stephen Harper - will go down in history as Canada's Ronald Reagan.
Yes...Harper looks to be a real good one. Congratulations!
Why? Pure lip service. Have to do things gradually, to stem the urban-liberal "sophisticate" uproar. Harper knows all too well how powerful the urban media establishment is in this country. But have no fear, he is slowly but surely cutting them off at the knees.
Shouldn't Hamas be allowed to go broke??? They are TERRORISTS!!!
Harper leads the way!!
I am sure Condi Rice will get them to change this policy, and send lots of "humanitarian aid" to the Palestinians.
WAHOOOO! Canada is back!
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