U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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U.S. aid to the Palestinians has fluctuated considerably over the past three years, largely due to Hamass changing role within the Palestinian Authority PA. After Hamas led the PA government for over a year, its forcible takeover of the Gaza Strip in June 2007 led to the creation of a non-Hamas government in the West Bank. Since then, the U.S. has dramatically boosted aid levels to bolster the PA and President Mahmoud Abbas vis-a-vis Hamas. In FY2008, Congress appropriated a total of 414.5 million in bilateral assistance to the Palestinians, the largest single year appropriation ever for the Palestinians. Because of congressional concerns that, among other things, U.S. funds might be diverted to Palestinian terrorist groups, much of this assistance is subject to legislative restrictions. For FY2009, an additional 200 million have already been appropriated for the Palestinians with another 100 million requested by the Bush Administration. Experts advise that PA stability hinges on, now more than ever, improved security, economic development, Israeli cooperation, and the continuation of high levels of foreign assistance. This report will be updated as events warrant.
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