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U.S. renews financial aid to Palestinians after UN statehood row

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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 12:31 PM
Original message
U.S. renews financial aid to Palestinians after UN statehood row
Chairman of House Foreign Affairs Committee says funds are national security interests of the United States and that Israel does not object to the assistance.

<snip>

"The Palestinians are slated to receive some 200 million dollars in U.S. security assistance after a top House Republican ended her hold on the money.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, informed the Obama administration in recent weeks that she no longer would block 50 million dollars in economic support funds for the Palestinian Security Forces and 148 million dollars in other assistance.

In separate letters to the State Department and USAID, Ros-Lehtinen cited President Barack Obama certification that the funds were in the national security interests of the United States as well as word that the government of Israel did not object to the assistance. The letters were sent in September and October.

In an interview with The Associated Press last month, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the administration has reached out to Israel, which has an interest in maintaining security aid to the Palestinians, to help urge Congress to continue assistance. "We're asking the Israelis on a case-by-case basis," she said.

Ros-Lehtinen had blocked the funds in late August just as the Palestinians were gearing up to seek statehood recognition at the United Nations. The lawmaker placed an "informational hold" on the money, seeking material from the administration. The Palestinians pursued that move despite strong objections from the United States and Israel."

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-s-renews-financial-aid-to-palestinians-after-un-statehood-row-1.394237
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. Where would the PA be without the US?
Could they survive without the hundreds of millions of American dollars in support of their efforts?
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shaayecanaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-08-11 05:32 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Probably...
The Palestinian National Authority Budget is about $1.1 billion a year, with roughly 20% of that coming from the US. They could get by without that contribution, particularly if they made decent efforts to rid the Authority of its endemic corruption, although it would hurt in the short term.

By comparison, Hamas' budget is $540 million, most of which comes from the Iranians. Hamas is widely regarded as making more efficient use of its money, in comparison to Fatah which is reckoned to be venal and corrupt.
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-08-11 06:04 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. That is definitely not true
Where are you getting these budget numbers from?

I think you are way off on both.

Can you provide a source for your claims?
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shaayecanaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-08-11 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Actually, you're right on the first
Edited on Tue Nov-08-11 03:46 PM by shaayecanaan
I was basing the first on the Wiki article for the PNA, which appears to be off the mark.

In any event, revenues in 2011 for the PNA are $2.25 billion:-

http://www.palestine-australia.com/event.php/view/id/117/title/2011-palestinian-national-authority-budget

Total aid from the US to the Palestinians amounts to $600 million per year, half of which goes to the PNA and the rest to UNRWA:-

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RS22967.pdf

So the US contribution is around 10-15% of the whole, as far as the PNA is concerned.



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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-08-11 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Thanks for the updated info
In any case, I think that the PA would be in somewhat of a bind without the support of the US.
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shaayecanaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-08-11 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. But it wouldnt necessarily threaten the PA's existence
Edited on Tue Nov-08-11 06:12 PM by shaayecanaan
any more than the withdrawal of US support for UNESCO presents an existential crisis for that organisation.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-08-11 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. The PA is in the weird situation of being able to hold itself to ransom.
If the PA doesn't get what it wants, it can threaten to dissolve, making the Palestinians squarely Israel's responsibility again. Neither Israel nor the US wants that to happen.
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-08-11 05:08 PM
Response to Original message
6. well its so nice of Israel to give the US permission as to what can be done with US money
but it should be noted they funds are for security purposes only nothing that will help build Palestinians institutions outside of that narrow framework are allowed
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