Two Florida and New York Congress members have asked for an investigation to determine if the Palestinian Authority is using U.S. aid for terrorists.
Ted Deutch and Steve Israel, both of them Democrats, wrote to the Government Accountability Office following reports earlier this month in Arutz Sheva and other media that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has ordered the Palestinian Investment Fund to build homes for terrorists whom Israel has freed in return for the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.
The Congressmen also want the GAO to investigate whether any U.S. Economic Support Funds are being used by Abbas for his unilateral move to win recognition for the PA in the United Nations, a violation of the Oslo Accords and the death knell of the U.S.-sponsored ”peace process.”
“The United States does not provide economic support funds to the Palestinian Authority to build new homes for terrorists or fund President Abbas' anti-Israel campaign trips through Europe," said Deutch, who hails from Florida.
"The American people do not want their taxpayer dollars funding any activity that runs counter to the security of our nation or our ally Israel,” he added. “We have a responsibility to ensure the Palestinian Authority is abiding by U.S. law with total transparency."
New York Representative Israel stated, “We have a foreclosure crisis in the United States and we’re struggling to keep American families in their homes. Now we learn that U.S. taxpayer dollars could be going to build homes for terrorists? This is outrageous. I’m asking for a full accounting of how U.S. funds are being used by the Palestinian Authority.”
Their letter to Comptroller General Gene Dodaro stated, “Many of the released prisoners were convicted of orchestrating and carrying out Hamas-sponsored terrorist attacks in Israel, including the bombing of a Tel Aviv nightclub that killed 21 people, the attack on a Netanya hotel that killed 29 people, and the bombing of a Sbarro Pizzeria that killed 15 people. We are troubled by reports of President Abbas’ use of PIF [Palestine Investment] funds to provide housing for these convicted terrorists….
“We are concerned about the increasing lack of transparency for the PIF as well as reports that Prime Minister Fayyad is no longer overseeing the fund and that Hamas has taken control of PIF assets in Gaza...
“The U.S. provides the Palestinian Authority with an average of $200 million per year of Economic Support Funds (ESF) directly for Palestinian Authority budgetary operations. President Abbas has spent the past year traveling to Europe and South America lobbying for support on his misguided attempt to unilaterally declare statehood at the United Nations. We must be sure that U.S. taxpayer money is not being used to fund such efforts that are in direct contravention of U.S. policy.”