Canada will continue to provide some aid to the Palestinian Authority on the basis of third-party assurances from Russia that the money will not be diverted for military purposes or to finance terrorism by Hamas.
The announcement yesterday by Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay was a softening of the new government's previous position. Prime Minister Stephen Harper threatened last month to cut off aid after Hamas, considered by Ottawa to be a terrorist organization, won a majority in the Palestinian parliamentary election in January.
But Mr. MacKay said "some Canadian aid will continue" to the Palestinian Authority after he received an encouraging report from his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, who said that Hamas will allow foreign aid programs to be audited.
Mr. MacKay did not specify how much aid would continue. Canada has a $25-million annual long-term commitment to projects in the West Bank and Gaza. The previous Liberal government planned substantial increases.
The word of one of Hamas' major foreign backers isn't terribly reassuring, for some reason. And who's to say that the $25 million isn't going to end up funnelled into Hamas' pockets, some way or another?
We didn't trust our own previous government to audit itself, and that was just because it sent advertising money to enrich its cronies. Hamas isn't going to be any more trustworthy.
Source: Globe and Mail