Obama gives $147m aid to Palestinians

2012-04-28 23:05

Jerusalem - American aid officials said on Saturday they will restore development programs for Palestinians after President Barack Obama ended a six-month funding freeze that shut down the local Sesame Street and other projects.

An official with the US Agency for International Development confirmed that $147m, which pays for infrastructure, education, humanitarian aid and health projects, had been restored.

But the official could not say specifically whether Palestinian Sesame Street would resume.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

US opposed Palestinian bid

In October, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, froze $192m earmarked for assistance to Palestinians as a penalty for their United Nations membership bid in September.

The Palestinians attempted to gain international recognition via admittance to the UN, but they did not muster enough support.

The US opposed the UN bid, saying it preferred negotiations as a way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ros-Lehtinen used her power as a lawmaker to place a hold on money Congress had already approved.

Congress later released about $45m. Then in March, Congress released another $88.6m, but with strict limitations that the money could not be used for road construction or Gaza aid, among other areas.

Obama announced on Wednesday he would override Congress and waive restrictions on all the remaining funds. He explained the move as in the "national security interests of the United States".

US derided

Palestinian lawmaker Abdallah Abdallah said the money "will definitely contribute to the betterment of the economic situation, but it's not a substitute for American wrong policy".

He derided the US as "impotent" in criticizing Israeli policies like settlement construction in the West Bank.

Israeli Foreign Ministry deputy spokesperson Ilana Stein said "the US may allocate its funds as it sees fit", but added, "apparently the Palestinians are developing a sense of entitlement to these funds."

The US has contributed about $500m annually to the Palestinians over the past decade, including millions to train security forces.

  • Fred - 2012-04-29 03:20

    This speaks highly of the US. I'm all for it, except the training of security forces. They're not used for security. They're used to attack Israel. The money should be limited to community and humanitarian projects.

      Fidel - 2012-04-29 11:29

      White trash!

      Shawn - 2012-05-18 21:27

      I think each NATION ,should have a right to shelf determination,not the way their master dictators want them to live.

  • Vienna - 2012-04-29 03:21

    So little for a country like America? The UN has been giving financial assistance to the Palestinians since 1971 and between 1994 and 2009 the UN alone gave Euro4.26 billion

      Fred - 2012-04-29 03:59

      The UN draws its funding from multiple countries. The US is currently struggling, less so than Europe, but it has major financial challenges to overcome.

      DSBennie - 2012-04-30 08:06

      Almost all of the UN funds come from the West,When the US pulled out of UNESCO it took a third of all funding with it, these organizations would be useless without the West

      rbrumley2 - 2012-05-01 08:21

      That's correct! We only pay through the UN, US don't give bonuses above and beyond the UN Period!

  • steve.dupreez - 2012-04-29 03:44

    USA should rather use the funding to save their own country

      Fred - 2012-04-29 03:56

      I think you're right. There's denial in this, isn't there.

  • Viwe - 2012-04-29 04:46

    Obama is the worst President US has ever had. You can aid Palist.. As much as you can but God said I will bless those bless Israel and cursr those who curses Israel. Barrack Husein Obama your true colours are coming out wolf in sheeps clothing.

      Ted - 2012-04-29 07:40

      You are using the wrong organ for thinking. Surely God, if he is the same we are talking about, never approved of the total disregard to human life expressed by the Zionists on a daily basis in Palestine. - 2012-04-29 07:50

      @viwe.You're right.Those who bless Israel will God bless.If the palestinians could have their way they would wipe out every Israeli.

      hsebolelo - 2012-04-29 08:01

      So, ur god is biasd\r\nSies...hus d palist god..

      John - 2012-04-29 08:12

      Viwe, read the Old Testament properly. The verse in Deuteronomy you quoting from actually says G-d favours Israel above all others, which means All other people(Europeans, blacks, Chinese, Palestinians etc) are NOT favoured. This G-D is exclusively for the children on Israel.

  • Joseph - 2012-04-29 08:49

    so viwe you publicly support an apartheid state and use palestinian toddlers as target practice, shame on and your god - 2012-04-29 09:07

      @joseph.I see u easily fall for propaganda lies.Palestinians typically play the victim role.Unfortunately you're one of those that believe anything the international media feeds u. - 2012-04-29 09:08

      @joseph.I see u easily fall for propaganda lies.Palestinians typically play the victim role.Unfortunately you're one of those that believe anything the international media feeds u.

      Donovan - 2012-04-29 09:48

      Joseph don't be mislead,Hamas are firing missiles from resedential areas,and by doing so prompting Israel to respond,by doing this,Hamas uses its own innocent civilians as humanshields,thus effectivly triggring international condemnation to the actions of Israel.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-04-29 15:36

      If the Zionists WENT HOME and had not STOLEN land from the Palestinians, they would not be shooting at them in the first place.

      Fred - 2012-04-30 01:05

      You're still upside-down Goodthing. :)

  • Greg - 2012-04-29 10:29

    Stingy Obama, very stingy. Small change the the ANCYL can spend on a couple of celebration parties.

  • - 2012-04-29 10:44

    When hamas fires missiles at Israel they fire back which Israel has full right to do.Guess what?Hamas keeps civilians(women and children)in all their strategic military points.Who's to blame then?Hamas are a bunch of filthy cowards.

  • alla.gelman - 2012-07-26 21:37

    OBAMA gave billios to muslim brotherhood without congress approval. Savwat Hagazy tells egyptians that the capital is not in Cairo but in Jerusalem and demands martir march. With 16 trillion dollars debt Medicaire programs will be cut and doctors will refuse to take patients medicare. Obama healthcare program will be impossible to get rid of, may be get rid of parts of it. Is it fare to american seniors who worked their entire life with the hope that they will be safe with retirement to take money away from Medicaire and give them to violent egyptians who are thursty for blood of israelies(by the way israel is international country, there are 3 millions ethnic russians, ukrainians, etc) Why to give money away when America is in such a debt?????

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