US plans $1 million assistance for Nablus

The US government will grant $1 million in civilian aid to Nablus to help the Palestinian Authority government establish control in the chaotic city, US diplomats said Friday. Nablus is a militant stronghold and one of the few West Bank cities where Hamas has strong support. The US aid will not go for security, but it is part of a broader US commitment to show support for PA President Mahmoud Abbas in his struggle with Hamas, which wrested control of the Gaza Strip from his loyalists in five days of fighting in June. The US assistance package, which will help to fund as many as 10 development projects, will officially be announced next week, said Micaela Schweitzer-Bluhm, the US consulate spokeswoman in Jerusalem.