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PA Unity Government Means No Cash from Israel

The World Bank says it will be providing $10 million in aid to Palestinian citizens.

According to the international body the funds will go to 5,500 families in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. A similar program in 2009 and 2010 also provided direct aid to some 25,000 families. The difference this year is the expected formation of a unity government between Hamas and Fatah.

When the World Bank donation happens it will be undermining a message much of the Western world stands for. That is ignoring a unity government whose charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish State.

UnityIn a letter to Mahmoud Abbas, Republican Representative Kay Granger and Democratic Representative Nita Lowey expressed their “serious concerns” about any efforts to seek UN recognition of an independent Palestinian state, with or without a unity government.

The message said:

“Our ability to support current and future aid would be severely threatened if you abandon direct negotiations with Israel and continue with your current efforts…”

Meanwhile, as an answer to news of the Fatah/Hamas unity government, Israel will be withholding tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority. The amount is $89 million dollars, being frozen by the Finance Ministry.

Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Salaam Fayyad, however said Israel’s decision to withhold money from the PA will not stop the unity agreement.

Fayyad said the PA is:

“In contact with all international influential forces and parties to stop Israel from taking these measures…Threats … will not deter us from concluding our reconciliation process. It is our policy and we must work harder to end our divisions as soon as possible…”

Semi-Life Sentence Handed Down to Yeshiva Students

Kadima condemned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over the results of a vote on Sunday, in which the cabinet approved a plan to extend the government stipend received by Haredi Yeshiva students for five years, at least. Tzipi Livni complained Netanyahu “sold the Israeli public.” (which arguably, however, is among the prime minister’s tasks). She was referring to the prime minister’s attempt to popularize IDF service among the ultra-orthodox. Which, again, would not be the end of the world.

Fourteen ministers, including ministers from “Yisrael Beiteinu”, voted ‘yay’ on the plan. Among the eight who voted ‘nay’ were Avodah. Shas abstained.

YeshivaAccording to the plan, during the next four years, no changes will be made to the funds received by married yeshiva students who do not work and have at least three children. During the fifth year, however, the stipend for yeshiva students under the age of 29 who meet the criteria will be decreased by some 75%.

Filers of the original petition 10 years ago, the National Student Union, has accredited their movement to the “good results.”

Union head Itzik Shmuli said in a statement:

“We think these are good recommendations that will increase solidarity in our society and make it a more egalitarian one…At the same time, we expect them to be legislated in the Knesset to ensure their future implementation.”

The objective of cutting the Kollel stipend, and Finance Minister, Yuval Steinitz, has signed off on this, is to save money, help assimilate the Haredim into Israeli society and mainstream culture, increase IDF service among them, strengthen the work force and set an example for the nation.

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