Is the U.S. releasing aid to the PA?

State Department has transferred dozens of millions of dollars to strengthen the Palestinian Authority's preventive security services.

Elad Benari,

Abbas and Trump
Abbas and Trump
Reuters

The State Department has in recent days transferred dozens of millions of dollars to the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) preventive security forces.

American officials said the purpose of the money transfer is to enable the PA security apparatuses to act in the most effective way to prevent terrorism in Judea and Samaria.

The funds were transferred to the PA despite the White House's recent announcement that it had decided to re-examine the aid provided by the United States to the Palestinians, in light of the ongoing disconnect between the sides since the decision to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and recognize it as the capital of Israel.

The funds transferred do not amount to more than 12% of the budget originally due to be transferred to the PA and which stands at close to $240 million.

However, a source in the administration said that it is not certain that the transfer of funds will continue. He noted that the administration is examining the situation in the PA and only after this examination concludes will it decide how to act and whether to assist the PA in the future.

Nine Democratic members of Congress recently sent a letter to President Donald Trump demanding he publish whether aid to the PA has been reduced or eliminated without first speaking to Congress.

In their letter to Trump, the signatories, all of whom are members of the House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee's subcommittee on the Middle East, claimed that "all U.S. assistance, including lifesaving humanitarian aid, has been frozen since January 2018."

"We are deeply concerned that there seems to be no information available to Members of Congress as to the nature, scope, or duration of this assistance review.

"We support the need for oversight of our assistance programs.... However, it is unnecessary to withhold funding while conducting this review."

They also claimed that there is a "real concern" that a drastic cut in funding to the PA will worsen the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and that the U.S. "cannot" refuse to aid the PA. Any aid not transferred to the PA since January, they insisted, must be transferred now. This will "save innocent lives" and "prevent Hamas from taking advantage of the situation," they claimed.


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