America has announced a cash boost for the secular Palestinian government of President Mahmoud Abbas. President George W. Bush has announced extra funds for the Fatah-led administration. It is another step towards isolating the Islamist Hamas faction, which is seen by the United States as a terrorist group. Since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip last month, Western countries have rallied behind Abbas with promises of more aid.
In Jerusalem, Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Abbas got together again in an effort to bolster the new Palestinian government. Some political commentators feel that the meetings with Olmert and the newly announced American aid might backfire, possibly painting Abbas as a collaborator with Israel and Washington.