US freezes $200m in aid to Palestinians

2011-10-01 22:47
Washington - Key US lawmakers are blocking about $200m in Palestinian aid in response to the territories' UN statehood bid, congressional aides said on Saturday.

Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have frozen the funding "until the Palestinian statehood issue is sorted out", one of the aides told AFP.

The economic package is separate from security aid, which the US lawmakers say would be counterproductive to block. They fear that withholding those funds would weaken the ability of Palestinian security forces to quell anti-Israel violence.

A coalition of Israel-backing Democrats and conservative Republican lawmakers are angered by the Palestinian bid for United Nations membership. Both the United States and Israel insist that only direct negotiations can produce an accord leading to Palestinian statehood.


US lawmakers earlier warned against the Palestinian bid.

"There must be consequences for Palestinian and UN actions that undermine any hope for true and lasting peace," Republican representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said on September 23.

Representative Nita Lowey, the top Democrat on the House panel that oversees foreign aid, warned that the annual $500m in economic and security assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) was at risk.

Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and the number-two House Democrat, representative Steny Hoyer, have accused Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas of shunning direct peace talks in favour of "diplomatic warfare" against Israel.

"Congress will not sit idly by. The US will likely reconsider its assistance programme for the PA and other aspects of US-Palestinian relations should the Palestinians choose to move forward in requesting a vote on statehood," they said in a joint September 22 opinion article in the New York Daily News.
Read more on:    un  |  us  |  palestine  |  israel  |  middle east peace

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Amazing solar inventions!

Solar power is lighting up the world, and not just on rooftops anymore.



Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

There is a tendency to get too caught up in group dynamics and high expectations and ideals, that your own personal needs more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.