update desk

Trump administration released tens of millions in aid to Palestinians

The foreign aid, which totals roughly $61 million, is mainly set to fund security cooperation between the P.A. and Israel, including in areas such as drug enforcement and anti-terrorism coordination.

U.S. President Donald Trump with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, May 23, 2017. Credit: Shealah Craighead/White House.
U.S. President Donald Trump with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, May 23, 2017. Credit: Shealah Craighead/White House.

The Trump administration quietly released tens of millions of foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority recently that had been frozen as part of a review process.

The foreign aid, which totals roughly $61 million, is mainly set to fund security cooperation between the P.A. and Israel, including in areas such as drug enforcement and anti-terrorism coordination.

“We recently decided to move ahead with FY2017 International Narcotics and Law Enforcement funding for Palestinian Authority security assistance and Non-Proliferation, Anti-Terrorism, Demining and Related Programs [NADR] in the West Bank,” a State Department official said.

“This assistance underpins Palestinian Authority security cooperation with Israel, which remains in force despite recent tensions,” said the official.

“This decision does not in any way prejudge the outcome of our review of other funding streams and programs. It is simply the first decision to emerge from the review, which is ongoing,” the official added.

The United States has frozen most of the $251 million earmarked to the Palestinian Authority this year after they announced they would boycott the Trump administration due to the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December. The United States has also withheld some $300 million to UNRWA, the U.N. agency that deals with Palestinian refugees.

“We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect,” Trump said in a tweet last January. “With the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”

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