Assurance that Fatah will not make war on Israel? None. Assurance that Fatah can rein in Hamas? None. Assurance that all these millions and billions will not fall into Hamas hands and be used for the jihad against Israel? None. But that doesn't stop them for a millisecond. "Donors pledge $650M for Palestinian aid," by Karin Laub for Associated Press (thanks to all who sent this in):
PARIS - Donors began committing funds from around the world Monday for the moribund Palestinian economy amid a renewed international push for a Palestinian state, with the European Union promising $650 million in 2008.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is asking for $5.6 billion over three years. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the international community to fulfill the Palestinian needs and more.
"What we must do now is work together before the end of 2008 for the creation of an independent, democratic, viable Palestinian state," French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the meeting's host, said in a speech to representatives from nearly 90 donor countries and international organizations.
Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that he has ruled out dialogue with rival Islamic militant Hamas, and that without international support Gaza is "heading into disaster."
Gaza has been virtually cut off from the world since Hamas seized control of the territory by force in June. Israel and Egypt sharply restricted border access in response, and the blockade has further deepened poverty there.
Abbas, speaking at the conference in Paris, said Gaza is already "close to catastrophe," and would head into disaster without continued international aid.