Friday, August 12, 2011
The NY Times reports that the U.S. State Department is threatening to withdraw $100 million of spending in Gaza unless Hamas leaders drop their demand to audit American-financed charities operating there. According to the article, the trigger for the threat was the decision by Hamas officials to suspend the operation of International Medical Corps after it refused to submit to such an audit. The dispute is apparently only the latest controversy in what has become an increasingly tense confrontation between the Hamas authorities in Gaza and nongovernmental organizations operating there. Previously, Hamas demanded that all NGOs register with the government, pay a fee, and submit financial reports, demands that many NGOs initially resisted but eventually agreed to. The audits appear to have been a step too far for at least some NGOs, however.