Skip to comments.Obama Releases Aid To Palestinian Authority
Posted on 03/28/2013 1:28:16 PM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
On Friday, the United States released nearly $500 million in aid that had been frozen for months to the Palestinian Authority (PA). Following this announcement, Israel claimed that it would restart regular monthly tax transfers to the PA, which it has been withholding since the U.N. bid for Palestinian statehood in November.
Like Israel, the U.S. Congress froze $200 million in aid to the PA in 2011 as punishment for seeking statehood at the U.N. When Palestine was admitted as a non-member state last November, Congress once again froze the request for funds.
During Thursday's meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, President Obama specifically asked him not to take Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) over settlement expansion or any other issue; it is suspected that these funds were released to ensure that President Abbas complies. However, following Obama's visit, forces in Congress are already trying to hinder these funds by introducing a bill titled "The Palestinian Accountability Act," which would cut off all aid to the Palestinian Authority until it formally recognized Israel as a Jewish state.
Freezing aid money and withholding taxes bears heavy consequences for Palestinians who work in the public sector and are paid with PA salaries. According to Birzeit Economics Professor Ibrahim Shikaki, 22 percent of Palestinians work in the PAs public sector; he estimates that an additional 750,000 Palestiniansthe spouses and children of PA public sector workersalso depend on PA salaries for their livelihoods.
Due to the inability of the PA to pay their workers in full, many public workers in Palestine have staged strikes in recent months, including a transportation workers strike that shut down the West Bank for two days in October. Frequently, hospitals and schools are shut down due to hospital workers and teachers strikes.
Secretary of State John Kerry in particular has been pushing for the release of these funds since taking up his post last month.
According to State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, the U.S. has already moved $295.7 in fiscal year 2012 money and $200 million in 2013 assistance. While the first sum will be used for U.S. aid projects, the 2013 money will be used for direct budget support.
Still, even the combined total of U.S. foreign aid and Israels withheld taxes is hardly enough. On Tuesday, while drafting the Palestinian Authoritys 2013 budget, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad announced that $1.4 billion of the $3.9 billion would need to come from foreign aid.
PA workers should be better off for at least the next 3-4 months, Shikaki said.
But what happens once this retrospectively meager foreign aid money dries up? Before the Oslo Accords, 40 percent of Palestinians worked in Israel; however, following the big closure, that figure decreased. By 1995, only 16 percent of Palestinians worked in Israel. With the erection of the wall and permanent military checkpoints in 2003, this number decreased even more.
Now, less than ten percent of Palestinians living in the West Bank work in Israel. Most of them work low-wage jobs in the construction or service industrieson top of a monthly fee for their permit to travel within Israel and the transportation cost of going to work, many barely have a net profit by the end of the day. With steadily increasing Israeli restrictions on Palestinians freedom of movement in recent years, Palestinians in the West Bank have become even more dependent on public sector jobs and frequently dry salaries from the Palestinian Authority.
What most people dont realize is that the Israeli occupation is internal, as well as external, Shikaki concludes.
Until the end of the Israeli occupationand the land seizures and restrictions on movement that are making once-profitable industries like agriculture and manufacturing nearly impossiblePalestinians living in the West Bank will depend on the aid-dependent PA government salaries for their livelihood. Until Palestine is truly a sovereign state, it seems that it will be up to the U.S. and Israels discretion whether or not to bail it out.
No body cares about the PA! What about aid to Jobless Americans?!
Yet our military no longer gets tuition assistance, we can’t afford White House tours or Easter Egg roll. When are the ignorant low information voters going to catch on? I know, never. As long as their money check from Uncle SAMs keeps coming they will keep their mouths shut.
Knowing Obama’s respect for the law (or lack thereof), I wonder how much of that money will make it into his private off shore bank account.
Faaaaaannnnntastick. Now they can buy more stuff to eventually kill us with. How generous are we?
pure corruption through and through, while promoting our enemies all around the world....
foreign aid should serve two purposes only, I think...
1. our security needs or those of our allies, and
2. genuinely humanitarian concerns like eradicating smallpox
foreign aid to terrorists, terrorist front organizations, terrorist gangs, terrorist regimes, and our sworn enemies is unacceptable!
but...as he correctly did say, “elections have consequences”
He’s taking care of his coreligionists before his fellow Americans. Guess which one he loves more?
Boo hoo! no money to people who jumped up and down for joy the morning of September 11, 2001.
It makes no sense giving OUR money to the palifilth that cheers on the rocket attacks against Israel. This not how you deal with terrorists.
Yep, and so many of them we should have seen coming.
They’re laughing all the way to the bank. Disgusting.
Why doesn’t Obama just bomb Israel and cut out the
Because by having the American taxpayers buy the
weapons that take out Israelis and Israel,
Obama-the-Undocumented Moslem paraterrorist will
take out two of his most hated “birds” with one stone.
Honest to GOD, what would it take to impeach the son of a bitch?
are they the royal famly?
I ask because the peoples house, our house, the house which we pay for is now bene closed by this family, they now have free reign and I can;t even bear to think what they;re doing to our house.
They cite no money but we know damn well it;s not because of money , it;s because the obama;s are so isolated from the people, and think our ouse is their house and this crap has got to stop.
When will the people camp outside that house, demand he be held accountable for Libya, fast and furious, closing our house, giving our money away fancy vacations, homosexual marriage and the attacks on the 2nd, the 1st religious freedom, the 10th etc.
French march and a million want normal marriage.
Egyptians camp outside
Amricans, well how many freepers even actually make calls and demand reps , not just theirs but others get back on track
Here is the RNC number
We have now been told that we should stop living in the past and move forward and have homosexuals marry by the leader of the RNC, I can;t even write his flaming pansy name
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH and the time for Sarah and others to take control or form a new party or the state smove away is now