By Donna Westfall – Credit to The Times of Israel – January 25, 2017 – Before Trumps inauguration on Friday, January 20th, the Obama administration via now former secretary of state, John Kerry, sent $221 million to the Palestinian Authority (PA) despite objections to the transfer by congressional Republicans.
The Trump administration has informed the PA that it is freezing the transfer of $221 million.
In 2016 the PA received $250 million from the US government. These funds included $180 million from USAID, $25 million to support Palestinian hospitals and $45 million to pay for fuel purchased from Israel.
Republicans have increasingly called for blocking or canceling funding to the PA because of increasing evidence that funds are used to incite violence and provide financial rewards to terrorists. It’s anyone guess why the Democrats wouldn’t join in under those circumstances.
The PA reportedly provides compensation for the following:
1.) To the families of terrorist prisoners held in Israeli prisons, and
2.) To the families of those who have killed themselves while attacking Israeli civilians.
PA budget for “the Care for the Families of the Martyrs” was reportedly about $175 million in 2016, and an additional $140 million was reportedly allocated for payments to prisoners and former prisoners.
Kay Granger of Texas, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee — had placed holds on those funds. Upon hearing of the transfer, Granger released a statement Tuesday January 24th saying, “I am deeply disappointed that President Obama defied congressional oversight and released $221 million to the Palestinian territories.” She then ended by saying, “The Obama Administration’s decision to release these funds was inappropriate.”