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      Obama Bypasses Congress, Frees Aid to PA

      President Barack Obama signs a waiver declaring that aid to the PA is “important to the security interests of the United States.”
      By Elad Benari, Canada
      First Publish: 4/28/2012, 12:30 AM

      Barack Obama
      Barack Obama
      Reuters

      President Barack Obama has bypassed a Congress block and signed a waiver declaring that aid to the Palestinian Authority is “important to the security interests of the United States,” AFP reported on Friday.

      In a memo sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, published by the White House, Obama said it was appropriate to release funds to the PA.

      A provision of The Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 2012 said none of the funds “may be obligated or expended with respect to providing funds to the Palestinian Authority.”

      In signing the waiver, Obama instructed Clinton to inform Congress of the move, on the grounds that “waiving such prohibition is important to the national security interests of the United States.”

      A $192 million aid package was frozen by Congress after the PA submitted its unilateral bid for United Nations membership last September.

      Members of Congress later released $40 million in economic and humanitarian funding for the PA, saying it is “vital to establishing and strengthening the foundations necessary for a future Palestinian state.”

      After the funds were released, the State Department expressed concern about being able to provide the necessary funding to address the dire economic and humanitarian hardship facing the PA, and called for more funds to be freed.

      (Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)