The US finally transferred Obama’s massive parting gift to the Palestinians.
The US transferred $221 million to the Palestinian Authority (PA), funds former US President Barack Obama quietly released in his waning hours.
The Trump administration initially announced a freeze on the move.
During Wednesday’s press briefing, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said it was his “understanding” the funds had been released, after initially saying there was an ongoing review.
The funds are meant for Palestinian programs, including “water, infrastructure, education, renewable energy, civil society, municipal governance, and the rule of law, as well as Gaza recovery,” he said.
A small amount was transferred directly to Israeli PA creditors, as well as to Jerusalem Palestinian hospitals.
“None of the funding was to go directly to the Palestinian Authority,” Toner stressed.
He concluded the issue by saying he would “double-check.”
The funds in question were approved by Obama hours before leaving office, and former Secretary of State John Kerry informed some lawmakers of the move shortly before he left the State Department for the last time. The written notification dated January 20 was sent to Congress just hours before Donald Trump took the oath of office.
The Obama administration pressed for the money’s release for the PA for some time. The money comes from the US Agency for International Development and is designated for humanitarian aid, political and security reforms, as well as preparations for good governance and the rule of law in a future Palestinian state, according to the notification sent to Congress.
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News