Clinton praises Olmert on decision to allow money into Gaza

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thanked Prime Minister Ehud Olmert late Thursday evening for his decision to allow the transfer of 170 million NIS from the West Bank to Palestinian Authority employees in Gaza. Speaking on the phone, Clinton praised Olmert on his decision, which came despite the objection of senior figures in Israeli politics, including Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who reportedly told Olmert that they feared the money would make its way into the hands of Hamas members. Clinton told Olmert that the move would strengthen moderate Palestinians.