By Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen

Humanitarian aid is universally understood to provide “assistance to victims of natural disasters, war situations or other catastrophic events.” However, now this definition is expanding to include aiding a terrorist regime. Under the guise of “humanitarian aid,” money is beginning to flow to the HAMAS government.

To date, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Qatar have given the HAMAS led Palestinian Authority $192 million; the Saudis gave $92 million, and Qatar and Iran $50 each. Russia gave another $10 million, bringing total aid to the new PA administration to just over $200 million. The U.S. says it has authorized of $245 million for “Basic humanitarian assistance — including health, food and education.”

In addition, the U.S. “will also provide $42 million to strengthen civil society and independent institutions.” UNRWA will distribute most of this aid. Since when do “education” and “strengthen[ing] civil society and independent institutions” qualify as “Humanitarian aid”?

HAMAS clearly has a different view of education and civil society: Culture minister ‘Atallah Abu Sabah announced, on April 8, the HAMAS government “would “work to reinforce the culture of resistance [i.e., violence and terrorism directed against Israel] and to instill it in the hearts of our boys and girls so that they may continue down the same path to the liberation of the Palestinian lands.” Surely, this is not the kind of education that the Administration, or the American public should aid.

Moreover, according to Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies (C.S.S) the daily international Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper, reported on April 7, “the movement intended to continue operating its social, educational and charity institutions (the da’wah).” The da’wah, the most effective tool in inculcating and indoctrinating its worldview among the Palestinian people — is first and foremost, hate propaganda and incitement.

Despite the very clear HAMAS statements about its agenda, aid money continues to flow. It seems the international donor community learned from HAMAS how to speak out of both sides of its mouth. While saying they refrain from funding the “terrorist” regime, they funnel money through alternative routes to HAMAS, but call it “humanitarian aid.” But as Gertrude Stein said: “Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.”

Indeed, the terrorist organization Hamas, would not have won the election if, in the first place, the world community had refused to allow it to run. However, HAMAS was able to run because it addopted the name “List of Change and Reform,” just for the election. That was enough for the international community to allow HAMAS to run and to delude itself. Clearly they continue to do so.

The EU declared earlier this month that although $600 million of funds earmarked for the PA would be cut now that HAMAS has assumed control, some of that money “would now be channeled via humanitarian aid organisations.” French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy, said on April 19, 2006, “It is absolutely out of the question … to cut off humanitarian aid to the Palestinian Territories,” And the French President Jacques Chirac declared that he supports “pursuing the aid on humanitarian grounds.”

Yet, the money, according to the Palestinian Minister for Detainees Affairs Wasfi Qabha, will be used not to feed the Palestinian people, but first to pay the salaries of the Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons. Many were sentenced to life for murdering Israeli civilians and organizing suicide attacks on Israel.

On April 19, 2006, Qabha announced plans for his office to transfer PA funds, first, directly to Palestinian prisoners. Moreover, he said that the salaries for all prisoners will be raised to the level of the highest-paid among them.

Further, Detainee Minister Qabha criticized PA treasury officials who, during the transition following the January PA election, transferred salaries to the Authority’s civilian workers before paying the prisoners. In addition, he declared that the new PA government is investigating means of raising international demands to liberate Palestinian prisoners.

Yet the ranks of those governments willing to delude themselves and fund the HAMAS-led PA continues to grow. The latest to step forward is Britain. As British foreign secretary Jack Straw put it in on April 19, “we would like to have normal relations with them.” He further stated that the U.K. is “looking for ways to ensure that all of Britain’s £56 million (over $100 million) contribution continued to reach Palestinians.”