Crumbling down: Effect of pressure on Hamas in doubt – US official

screwed I tell ya..

after my upsetting post just below, what pours into my RSS feed? Endless confirmation.

Effect of pressure on Hamas in doubt-US official

JERUSALEM, Feb 24 (Reuters) – The United States cannot be certain an international campaign to pressure Palestinian election winner Hamas to renounce violence and recognise Israel will work, a senior U.S. counter-terrorism official said Friday.

The Islamic militant group has brushed aside threats from the United States and Europe to freeze vital funding after it won the Jan. 25 Palestinian parliamentary election, and it said it was seeking alternative support from Iran and Arab states.

“I can say I hope they (Hamas) change. Whether they will or how long it takes, that’s open to debate,” Henry Crumpton, the U.S. State Department’s coordinator for counter-terrorism, told Reuters while in Israel as part of a Middle East tour. [...]

There’s more of this kind of good news today.. Oy.

Crumpton, who heads to Egypt next week to assess the Islamic militant threat in neighbouring Sinai, said Israel was at a high risk of al Qaeda attack.

“I can emphasise that we know al Qaeda’s intent is to attack Israel and Israeli interests. They are working to do that, just like they are working to attack the U.S. and the homeland,” he said.

And if that wasn’t enough good tidings for PM Olmert, here’s some dessert:

UN lobbies for Palestinian aid despite Israel

JERUSALEM, Feb 24 (Reuters) – The U.N. is urging donors to provide funds to keep the Palestinian Authority running after Israel starts withholding tax revenues next week, rebuffing the Jewish state’s appeal for a suspension of aid, diplomats said on Friday.

The U.N. stand has put a spotlight on disagreements over Israeli and Western efforts to put pressure on a Hamas-led Palestinian government to renounce violence, recognise Israel and abide by interim peace deals with the Jewish state.

[...]

DEBATE WITHIN QUARTET

In its Jan. 30 statement, the Quartet said aid should continue to flow to the caretaker government, at least until Hamas forms a new cabinet.

“When we’ve seen the new government, there will be a review” to decide whether to withhold aid, said a diplomatic source involved in the deliberations.

Hamas, which crushed President Mahmoud Abbas’s long-dominant Fatah party in the Jan. 25 Palestinian election, is not expected to complete the formation of a new government until next month.

Diplomatic sources said there was a debate within the Quartet over giving Hamas time to outline its policies before taking any action on aid.

The United Nations has not asked donor-nations for specific dollar-amounts for the Palestinian Authority, but Palestinian officials say it needs about $150 million a month to pay workers’ salaries and keep Palestinian ministries functioning.

De Soto said after meeting with Abbas earlier this week that the U.N. hoped aid flows would continue in order to head off “a fiscal crisis in the coming period.”

[...]

I know the time differential.. but allow me to speak figuratively for a moment here.. Is everyone in Israel asleep!?

You've got a lot of work ahead of you, get 'cracking'Time to finish my Key Players page profiles on Netanyahu, and some of the lesser known parties in Israel, they seem to be alone in the reality check dept. when it comes to Hamas.. I’m going to needs some eye candy to start posting about it.

I wonder what Israel’s center party reaction will be to all these “slippery slopes” as Lady Livni put it?

 

Are the eggs for breakfast going to be hardboiled.. or soft?

 

[tags]Israel, UN, Terrorism[/tags]