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Lawmakers Demand Probe of Palestinian fund

By: JTA

Reps. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) and Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday asked the General Accountability Office’s comptroller general to probe what U.S. funding was being given to the Palestine Investment Fund and under what circumstances.

Deutsch and Israel had co-signed a similar letter drafted last November. The signing of Lowey, the senior Democrat on the Foreign Operations subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, adds heft to the request.

The lawmakers expressed concern over the lack of accountability and transparency within the PIF.

“We are concerned about reports of an increasing lack of transparency for the PIF and that Hamas has taken control of PIF assets in Gaza,” they wrote. “We are also troubled by reports that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has stated his intent to use PIF funds to build housing for convicted terrorists responsible for killing Israeli citizens.”

The Congress members expressed concern about the involvement of Hamas, a terrorist group.

“The possibility that Hamas is controlling aspects of the PIF is particularly troubling given the ambiguity surrounding the amount of U.S. taxpayer dollars contributed to the PIF,” they wrote.

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