Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Funding Hamas

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

From an article which appeared in the March 5, 2007 Washington Times:
Millions of dollars in U.S. foreign aid have been given in the past several years to two Palestinian universities -- one of them controlled by Hamas -- that have participated in the advocacy, support or glorification of terrorism.

The funding -- principally in scholarships to individual students -- is being eyed by several members of Congress and their aides, who say it may violate U.S. law.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided more than $140,000 in assistance to the Hamas-controlled Islamic University in Gaza -- including scholarships to 49 of its students -- since Congress changed the law in 2004 to restrict aid to entities or individuals "involved in or advocating terrorist activity."

No U.S. assistance was directed to Islamic University last year, but USAID continues to fund multimillion-dollar programs through American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), which is building a high-tech facility for the school. U.S. law requires that any recipient of U.S. aid have no association with terrorists.

USAID also gave $2.3 million in aid last year to Al-Quds University, which has student groups affiliated with designated terrorist organizations on campus and last month held a weeklong celebration of the man credited with designing and building the first suicide belts more than a decade ago.


Aides to several congressmen said they were most troubled by USAID assistance to Islamic University in Gaza City, which is openly controlled by Hamas leaders.

The organization held a two-day conference in 2005 on the "martyrdom" of former Hamas spiritual leader and founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin, who was killed in an Israeli air strike in 2004. Sheik Yassin founded the school in 1978.

Sheik Yassin and former Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi used Islamic University as a base, as has Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister in the Hamas-led Palestinian government and a member of the school's board of trustees.

Sixteen Islamic University lecturers and teachers are elected Hamas members of the Palestinian legislature. In 2005, 78 percent of the student council vote went to Hamas, according to a Palestinian newspaper article provided by Palestinian Media Watch.

When challenged by Congress last year on its assistance to the school, USAID noted that the funding was not renewed last year. Nonetheless, the agency is providing millions in grants to ANERA, which is building a high-tech facility in Gaza City for the university. California-based Intel Corp. is underwriting the project.
Read the rest of the article. There's much more to make your blood boil!

But not to worry. Congress has "its eye" on this matter of taxpayers' dollars being used to fund the enemy's operations, including their education.

[Hat-tip to Mustang, who alerted me to this article]

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