The Palestinian leadership yesterday accused the US Congress of inflicting "collective punishment" upon its people by holding up almost $200m in aid earmarked for the West Bank and Gaza by the Obama administration. The freeze on funds earlier allocated for the financial year which ends today is the first concrete Congressional reprisal against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to come to light since he angered US legislators by pursuing his application for full UN membership last week. The unpublicised block has been in force since August and was imposed in response to the then planned UN recognition bid and to earlier – so far fruitless – efforts to effect reconciliation between Mr Abbas's own Fatah faction and Hamas.
But no-one has a right to aid. The palestinians were warned that to elect a party like Hamas in Gaza would result in the US withdraing its goodwill. They thought the US was bluffing. It was not.