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Four months on from the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, Palestinians have seen little of the money pledged for reconstruction.
The donors thought the situation would become clearer after the formation of a new Israeli government and with progress in Egyptian-sponsored reconciliation talks between Hamas and their West Bank rivals, Fatah.
No luck. Hamas and Fatah seem to be drifting further apart, maneuvering behind the scenes as they prepare for a new round of talks.
Fatah, which controls the Palestinian Authority from Ramallah, lacks urgency due to the fact that it’s still receiving the money it has been promised by the United States. Hamas hasn’t been doing much to kiss and make up, either. A Human Rights Watch report released last week said Hamas killed at least 32 political rivals during the Israeli assault and in the three months since. It also shot 49 Palestinians in the legs and broke the legs or arms of another 73, according to the rights group.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a review of the policy of barring construction materials from Gaza, after he took office a month ago. But the review isn’t due to be completed for another three weeks, according to officials in Netanyahu’s office.
“Keeping the money out of the hands of Hamas is a challenge,” says one Israeli official. “Whether the money is dollars, Euros or shekels, no one has easy answers.”
It turns out blame is easier to spread than money.
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