U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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Since the establishment of limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the mid-1990s, the U.S. government has committed approximately 5 billion in bilateral assistance to the Palestinians, who are among the world s largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid. Successive Administrations have requested aid for the Palestinians in apparent support of at least three major U.S. policy priorities of interest to Congress Preventing terrorism against Israel from Hamas and other militant organizations. Fostering stability, prosperity, and self-governance in the West Bank that inclines Palestinians toward peaceful coexistence with Israel and a two-state solution. Meeting humanitarian needs. Since June 2007, these U.S. policy priorities have crystallized around the factional and geographical split between the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority PA in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Through its provision of aid to the Palestinians, the United States faces challenges in bolstering PA leaders in the West Bank without compromising their domestic popular appeal or encouraging authoritarian behavior. Longtime PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who was praised by many Western officials including several Members of Congress as a champion of reform and transparency, resigned in April 2013. Fayyad was replaced by a government that may be more sensitive to the preferences of PA President Mahmoud Abbas than those of international donors. Congress and the Obama Administration also face challenges in addressing humanitarian needs in Gaza while monitoring the status of Hamas s rule there amidst regional flux and increasing instability along the border in Egypt s Sinai Peninsula.
- Government and Political Science