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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 May 2006, 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
Press cool on Quartet aid plan
Middle East Press

Palestinian papers are unhappy about the Middle East Quartet's plan to bypass Hamas and channel aid directly to the Palestinians, with one commentator arguing the proposal will merely keep the situation "on the brink of the abyss".

Most Israeli dailies are scathing about the plan - but for different reasons - with one calling it "disastrous" and another lamenting the fact that the Quartet has abandoned financial pressure as a lever on the Hamas-led government.

In the wider region there is praise for the "steadfastness" of the Palestinians, but also a sense that the real task for Hamas is to break the "political blockade".

TALAL AWKAL IN PALESTINIAN AL-AYYAM

The agreement that the Quartet has reached... means that the pressure will continue and will focus this time on the government. It also means that the Quartet wishes to keep the situation on the brink of the abyss. [The mechanism] will be a patching up process that is temporary and experimental only.

UMAR AL-GHUL IN PALESTINIAN AL-HAYAT AL-JADIDAH

The political process is witnessing one-sided activity from Israel that will impose its rational and political choice. Meanwhile, the Palestinian leadership is at the mercy of the Quartet, especially the US... This will preserve the Palestinian reality [but] will push the Palestinian people towards the abyss.

PALESTINIAN AL-QUDS

The Quartet should have presented immediate and emergency aid to the Palestinians so as to provide them with basic food, educational and health needs and only then look for a mechanism [to channel future aid]. This action isn't fair since this aid isn't alms because the Western countries caused the Palestinian problem through their unlimited support for Israel.

SEVER PLUTZKER IN ISRAEL'S YEDIOT AHARONOT

As long as Hamas refuses to accept the conditions put to it by the Quartet no assistance should be passed to the PA - direct or otherwise. It is regrettable that the international community freely conceded the main lever of pressure - the money lever - and missed an historic opportunity to impose political, administrative and budgetary discipline on Hamas.

EVELYN GORDON IN JERUSALEM POST

By funding government operations, the EU absolves the Hamas government of the need to use its own revenues to provide basic services, and it thereby makes those revenues available for terror instead... Thus, for its own sake as well as Israel's, one must hope that the US will rethink this disastrous idea before it is too late.

RONI SHAKED IN ISRAEL'S YEDIOT AHARONOT

Hamas is pleased with the assistance even when it is granted behind its back. The main thing is to ease the hardship on the street, to widen the cracks in the international siege and gain time. And all this without abandoning its hard-line ideology, without gaining legitimacy in the world and most of all without recognising Israel.

ARIK BACHAR IN ISRAEL'S MAARIV

Everything in the scenario worked wonderfully - Israel left Gaza, the Palestinians held democratic elections. That is, until Hamas decided it did not like the text that says that in order to be part of the vision of two states for two peoples it might be worth recognizing Israel and starting to talk to it. Now the Palestinians have been given the role of beggars whose treasurer no-one trusts.

DANNY RUBINSTEIN IN ISRAEL'S HAARETZ

It is clear to everyone now that whatever Fatah, Israel, the Arab states and the entire world do to undermine the Hamas government will not work. The Palestinian public is loyal to it. So it is best to look for a way to live with it.

PAN-ARAB AL-QUDS AL-ARABI

The retreat of the international Quartet committee can be termed a big victory for the steadfastness of the Palestinian people... The Palestinian people have also proved to the world that they are not beggars and it is not possible for them to compromise on their democratic choice and decision in electing their representatives to the legislative assembly.

AYIAD MASUD IN LEBANON'S AL-MUSTAQBAL

The Palestinians might be able to break through the financial blockade and find other ways to secure the money necessary to pay salaries and run the day-to-day affairs of Palestinian society... But, as important as this is, the Palestinians must succeed in penetrating the political blockade because of the strategic consequences this will have on the future of their national cause and the rights of the people.

MAZIN HAMAD IN JORDAN'S AL-DUSTUR

The US has found itself forced to acquiesce to the will of the international community in lifting the starvation blockade on the Palestinian people... We do not think that the US would have bowed to those pressures if it were not certain that the collapse of the Palestinian Authority and the outbreak of in-fighting would pave the way for a wave of violence that would escalate and threaten Israel.

MUHAMMAD ALI BUZHAH IN SYRIA'S AL-THAWRAH

The meeting of the International Quartet comes as part of US-Zionist pressures to tighten the blockade on the Palestinian people and punish them for their democratic choice. Duty compels Arabs to coordinate with the forces of freedom and peace in the world to push for a change in these policies and prevent their supporters from destroying the Palestinian people.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.





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