A report last week that the Palestinian Authority received no funding at all in 2016 from the United States has been proven untrue in an expose by the Times of Israel.
According to the report, the Ramallah government has received more funding this year from the U.S. State Department than from any other foreign source.
As a matter of fact, a State Department official provided information to the news outlet on Thursday that proves the United States gave the Palestinian Authority more than $357 million in financial aid in 2016. Add to that another $355,177,827 contributed by the United States in 2016 to UNRWA – the United Nations Relief and Works Agency – which included an allocation of $95 million solely for Gaza and the PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria.
UNRWA is the agency dedicated solely to helping “Palestinian refugees” in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria – the only refugees in the world to be defined from one generation to the next, now going into the fifth generation, and numbering past five million, rather than having be accepted and absorbed by their “Arab brethren.”
PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah had told the official Voice of Palestine radio station on December 8 that his government had not received any funds from the United States in 2016, calling it a “financial siege” on the Palestinian Authority.
“We hope that this aid money will be paid,” he said, the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) translated from a clip of the program.
But it turns out Hamdallah was playing semantics, with a reference to the difference between fiscal year approval and transfer of payment, which the U.S. government disburses via the USAID agency in the form of project funding in a one-year delay, which Hamdallah knows perfectly well. “Projects” can include anything like bills for education funding – utility bills for schools, for example – hospitals, direct payments to contractors who build or repair infrastructure… anything other than salaries for terrorist inmates sitting in Israeli jails.
The monies for 2016 were approved actually in 2015. The monies for 2017 – according to Hamdallah, $263 million, were approved by Congress in 2016. Somehow he has gotten the figure wrong, however: according to the figures from the State Department, $261 million was approved by Congress. TOI was unable to reach Hamdallah’s office for comment on the difference in the numbers.Hana Levi Julian