Congress freezes aid to Palestinian Authority over incitement

Punishing the Palestinian Authority for inciting violence and terror against Israel, the US House Committee on Appropriations voted to freeze a request by the State Department for $370 million in annual funds to the PA.

By: Aryeh Savir,  World Israel News
Kay Granger

Rep. Kay Granger. (Wikipedia)

US Congress has blocked financial aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in wake of the latest wave of Palestinian terror attacks against israelis and incitement to violence by Palestinian leaders.

The House Committee on Appropriations voted to freeze a request by the State Department for $370 million in annual funds to the PA.

Annual US funding for the PA stands at $450 million, but was cut to $370 million in 2015 in wake of the PA’s violent behavior against Israel last year.

Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX), Head of the House Committee on Appropriations, and senior Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY), sent a letter to PA head Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday warning that a continuation of incitement by the Palestinians could lead to a complete cessation of American financial aid to the PA.

“We implore you to refrain from highly-inflammatory language and to redouble your efforts to uphold nonviolence,” the letter said. “As you are well aware, any US assistance generously provided by the American people to the Palestinian Authority is predicated on the PA’s adherence to the precepts of the Oslo Accords as well as countering terrorism and the incitement of violence.”

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The letter also demanded that Abbas meet directly with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has repeatedly stated his willingness to meet with Abbas.

Granger and Lowey also warned that the House wouldn’t be able to defend financial aid to the PA if Abbas decided to abandon direct negotiations with Israel and steps to achieve “security, prosperity and peace” for both Israelis and Palestinians.

They also stated in the letter that attacks against Israelis raise doubts that Palestinians are interested in living in peace with Israel.

Nita Lowey

Rep. Nita Lowey. (Wikipedia)

“The recent and vicious attacks against innocent Israelis are unacceptable and must be stopped,” Lowey demanded in a statement issued earlier in the month. “They are a tragic reminder of the constant threat of terrorist attacks that face the Israeli people.  All Palestinian leaders must take immediate steps to condemn these senseless acts of violence and prevent further incitement.”

“Violence and any additional loss of life threaten years of progress toward stability and coexistence. The aspirations of the Palestinian people can only be achieved through peaceful means,” she warned, calling on Abbas “to do everything in his power to reduce tensions and restore calm.”

Head of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA) added that new ways must be found to stop Palestinian incitement, which he said continues to reach the public through social media, radio, television, and the education system.

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Israel has been suffering from a wave of violent Palestinian attacks that began in mid-September. In the past five weeks, 10 Israelis have been murdered by Palestinian terrorists. In total, Palestinians carried out 41 stabbings, four shootings and five vehicular attacks. Palestinian incitement and the dissemination of lies and rumors have been a driving force behind the weeks of terrorism.