Report: Congress freezes aid to Palestinian Authority over incitement

Taking a moral stance in support of Israel and standing up to Palestinian belligerence, the US Congress is using its funding to the PA as leverage to force it to stop inciting to terrorism.  

By: Atara Beck, World Israel News

Members of the United States Congress are delaying a payment of $159 million in aid allocated for the Palestinian Authority (PA) in an effort to pressure the PA to relaunch diplomatic negotiations with Israel, the PLO ambassador to Washington claimed Saturday.

In a report on Sunday, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency quoted Ambassador Maen Erekat as confirming earlier reports that Congress was blocking the payment at the request of Congresswoman Kay Granger (R, TX.), the Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State-Foreign Operations, who accused the PA of supporting terrorism against Israelis.

The Obama administration allocated $450 million in aid to Palestinians for 2015, including $131 M. for economic and development projects by USAID and $70 million for PA agencies and security agencies, while $80 million in aid was withheld following incitement to terrorism by the PA last October.

Erekat alleged that some “pro-Israel” Congress members are continuing to pressure the PA to relaunch diplomatic negotiations with Israel, and prevent Palestinians from joining international organizations and conventions.

The PA last year officially requested to join 15 international conventions, including membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC), from which it hopes to launch a diplomatic war against Israel.

Members of Congress have previously attempted to block aid for Palestinians in 2011 in response to the PA bid for full UN membership, but the funds were eventually released.

On March 12, PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi conducted a series of meetings in Washington, D.C., during which she discussed peace negotiations with Israel and urged US Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley to pressure House Republicans to release the $159 M. in aid.