Louis Michel, the EU's commissar for development and international aid, has actually blamed Hamas for the situation in Gaza. Somebody, get me my smelling salts.
Even though he was "shocked" by what he saw in Gaza, he had uncharacteristically harsh words for Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since it staged a violent coup there in June 2007.So, does this mean he will not be sending our money in the form of aid to this terrorist organization to build more terrorist weaponry?
"At this time we have to also recall the overwhelming responsibility of Hamas," said Michel, according to AFP. "I intentionally say this here: Hamas is a terrorist movement and it has to be denounced as such."
Reuters quoted Michel as criticizing Hamas for its use of civilians as "human shields" and for fighting in populated areas.
Last week, when EU Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero Waldner visited Israel, she said that the EU would not pay to rebuild Gaza until a government that it found acceptable was in power there.Hurrah! But it seems that I was cheering too soon.
On Monday, Michel was more frank, saying the EU was tired of paying for the same infrastructure only to have it repeatedly destroyed.
Still, he announced that the EU was prepared to spend $74 million in aid to Palestinian civilians, including $41 million earmarked to "respond to the dramatic humanitarian situation in Gaza" following Israel's offensive.Of course not. Just like the previous funds were not channelled to Hamas. Somehow they get hold of the money, though.
Michel insisted none of the funds would be channeled to Hamas.
UPDATE: For those who have not yet read them, Andrew Roberts's arguments as to why the BBC should not be broadcasting an appeal for Gaza are here. Interestingly enough, most of the comments are supportive of his stance.