The Guardian


Israel halts funds to Palestinian Authority

Israel froze contacts with what it called the “terrorist” Palestinian Authority yesterday, and put a block on the transfer of funds, the day after the swearing in of a Hamas-dominated parliament.

“Israel views the rise of Hamas as a dangerous milestone that turns the Palestinian Authority into a terrorist authority,” said the acting prime minister, Ehud Olmert. “Israel will not hold contacts with the administration in which Hamas plays any part – small, large or permanent.”

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Hamas dismisses Israeli sanctions

Newly named Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya has dismissed the effect of Israeli financial restrictions on the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Mr Haniya also played down the impact of a drop in Western aid, saying Arab and Islamic states would step in.

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Washington Post:

As the results of the recent Palestinian elections are implemented, it’s important to understand how the transition process works and also how important to it are actions by Israel and the United States.

Although Hamas won 74 of the 132 parliamentary seats, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas retains the right to propose and veto legislation, with 88 votes required to override his veto. With nine of its elected members remaining in prison, Hamas has only 65 votes, plus whatever third-party support it can attract. Abbas also has the power to select and remove the prime minister, to issue decrees with the force of law when parliament is not in session, and to declare a state of emergency. As commander in chief, he also retains ultimate influence over the National Security Force and Palestinian intelligence.

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