The Karni Crossing was opened briefly Monday, after being closed for about ten weeks due to terror threats, but was closed 45 minutes later due to specific warnings of an impending terrorist attack. Despite continued warnings, the crossing was opened again on Tuesday, following American pressure to allow the PA to receive humanitarian aid through the at-risk crossing, instead of through the available Kerem Shalom one. The decision to open Karni was made after a meeting of Israeli officials and PA strongman Rashid Abu Shabak at the Herzliya home of US Ambassador Richard Jones. Abu Shabak was involved with the November 2000 bombing of a Jewish school bus in Gaza and was persona non grata in Israel until Ariel Sharon agreed to allow him to take part in meetings following the Disengagement.

PA officials claim there is a shortage of flour, sugar and rice in Gaza, but IDF Coordinator of Activities in Judea and Samaria, Major-General Yosef Mishlav blames the PA for any such shortage at this time, which he says is highly exaggerated. The senior IDF commander says the situation that exists in Gaza is the direct result of PA policy, and is in no way Israel’s fault, telling President Moshe Katsav that the shortage is due to the PA’s refusal to transport goods via the Kerem Shalom Crossing, opened by Israel to serve as an alternative to Karni. The reason for the preference of the jointly-operated Karni Crossing is reportedly because the PA receives tax duties on goods brought in through that crossing and not through Kerem Shalom. On Monday, the PA finally agreed to accept aid through Kerem Shalom Crossing, but due to security-procedures, not enough good can cross through in one day to provide for the needs of Gaza's populace.

EU Aids Hamas-Run PA

The European Union gave another $78 million in aid to the PA Monday, funneling it through the United Nations, which will pass it on to the Hamas-run Palestinian Authority to pay the salaries of its employees, which include numerous terrorists.

The latest EU donation was accompanied by a warning that continued funding would depend on the terror group's decision to reconsider its stated aim of destroying the Jewish state. "Hamas is at a crossroads," Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik, whose country heads the EU, said. "It will have to decide which road to take." Meanwhile, British Foreign Minister Jack Straw said that the Palestinian people should not be punished for the way they chose to vote.

The so-called Quartet – the US, EU, UN and Russia – has demanded Hamas recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept past agreements or risk continued international aid.

French President Jacques Chirac, however, made a statement Monday urging the international community to continue funding the Hamas-led PA, even if the terror group does not comply with any of the demands.

Hamas has so far refused to express even the slightest verbal hints of moderation, with quotes lauded by the media as breakthroughs quickly retracted and corrected. Even internally, responding to Fatah demands to respect past agreements signed by the PLO, Hamas instead declared in its government guidelines to act, "with great responsibility in regard to the signed agreements so as to protect the higher interests of our people [emphasis added –ed.]."

The guidelines also demand the return of all the Arabs who fled Israel during the War of Independence, together with their children, grandchildren and subsequent generations, and justify continued terrorist attacks on civilians. The guidelines read, "opposition in its various forms is a legitimate right of the Palestinian people for the purpose of ending the occupation." The word "opposition,” in the Hamas lexicon, is a euphemism for terrorism.
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