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Report: US blocks $200 million in aid to PA
Published Saturday 01/10/2011 (updated) 02/10/2011 23:17
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U.S. President Barack Obama addresses a joint session of Congress on Capitol
Hill in Washington September 8, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Bourg)
LONDON (Ma'an) -- The United States Congress has blocked nearly $200 million in aid for the Palestinians in response to President Mahmoud Abbas' request to join the UN, a British newspaper report said Saturday.

The Independent called the move the most tangible sign yet of the seriousness of US threats to halt funding in the coming year if Abbas continues with his actions at the UN.

The unpublicized block has been in force since August and was imposed in response to the then-planned UN recognition bid and to earlier reconciliation efforts between Fatah and Hamas, the newspaper said.

The decision was strongly condemned by the Palestinian Authority, the daily reported. The cutoff threatens projects such as food aid, health care, and support for efforts to build a functioning state, it said.

"This is not constructive at all. Such moves are unjustified," said PA spokesman Ghassan Khatib.

"These are mainly humanitarian and development projects -- it is another kind of collective punishment which is going to harm the needs of the public without making any positive contribution."

Khatib added that the Palestinian Authority had not done anything wrong or illegal and that, "it is ironic to be punished for going to the United Nations," the newspaper reported.

In an editorial, the daily also denounced the move, which is opposed by the Obama administration as well as Israeli officials who depend on the PA security forces to maintain order in the West Bank.

"Anything which stirs up frustrations by undermining public services or, worse, which directly jeopardises the funding of the security services is playing with fire. And not just for the Palestinians," the editorial said.

"Any increase in lawlessness in the West Bank has an immediate impact on Israel."

Meanwhile at the UN, Palestinian and American officials are waging a diplomatic tug-of-war for the votes of a handful of countries as Palestine's application for membership stalls in the Security Council.

Officials and experts say the US is using diplomatic pressure to convince Security Council member states to vote no or abstain, with the aim of preventing the PLO from securing a majority in the 15-member council.

The United States has threatened to veto the application out of support for Israel, but it would not have to exercise this option if the PLO fails to win the backing of a majority.
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1 ) Nour / One State
01/10/2011 10:51
Best news this week!! What we need is freedom not tour dirty money.

2 ) Jad / Ramallah
01/10/2011 11:22
we hate America the second jewish state.

3 ) Rana / Ramallah
01/10/2011 11:23
America go to the hell .

4 ) Rose / Beit Jala
01/10/2011 11:28
Obama and congress men and women are all bitches..american people need someone like Martin Luther King Jr.

5 ) Raed Dajani / Nablus
01/10/2011 11:32
The Palestinian Authority should dissolve itself, as it is acting in america's , Israel's interest.

6 ) southparkbear / usa
01/10/2011 13:09
chutzpah, only palestinians can go to a restuarant,eat abd then demand to be paid and tipped for it

7 ) Rami / Palestine
01/10/2011 14:15
6) south park: chutzpah? Hardly... The 200 million dollars is a tiny tiny fraction of reparation and compensation money that must be paid by the United States of Israel to the Palestinian people, for their crimes committed against the defenseless Palestinian people and their dispossession during 63 years and counting. So no it's not a tip, it's ours to be paid... Bit*^!

8 ) Perry Fan / USA
01/10/2011 14:37
#4, Martin Luther King Jr. strongly supported Israel. Most religious people in America support Israel because the Bible is clear that the land between the river and the sea belongs to the Jews.
When Jesus returns, you will bow on your knees to worship the King of the Jews, the Savior of Mankind, who died for our sins.

9 ) Nour / No State
01/10/2011 14:44
1) - agree, very good news. It is time to defund Abbas, PA and UNRWA. Let palestineans earn money or ask for money from their best friends - Russia, China, South Africa, Brazil, Gabon or arab brothers. It will be interesting to see how much they would get. My guess would be - zero, nothing.

10 ) Salma / Palestine
01/10/2011 15:14
The Jewish Congress can keep its dirty dollars. The Palestinians should be grateful to these fools for dispelling the illusion that the United States can play the honest broker in the region. no "peace process" any more .

11 ) Malone / Hfx
01/10/2011 15:27
Now the propaganda will really start...there'll be starving babies everywhere for the viewing pleasure of the naive,lol.

12 ) Outsider / EU
01/10/2011 15:53
Dear US, the message is clear. Like the Israeli cabinet, the only policies you know are to bully and block things. However, it is kind of sad to think that such a small spit of land as Israel is able to manipulate your foreign policy so easily. Insulting Biden and Obama is not enough, you also have to pay for its colonial expansion and punish the Palestinian UN bid - the only major political move initiative (and peaceful) in the region. By the way, Hamas will tell Abbas: "I told you so".

13 ) Philip / Ireland
01/10/2011 16:08
This will be a strategic own-goal for the US. Does the US administration think that the Palestinians can be forced to forego statehood by starvation of aid funds? Watch the other [rich] Arab states step into the breach ... and it will then be too late for Obama etc to regain any ground and any trust with the Palestinians. Blair and Obama make a matching pair ...... recall that both [allegedly] espouse the cause of Palestinian statehood ...... but obviously only on their terms. Shameful deceit.

14 ) Michael Shepard / USA
01/10/2011 16:14
The money has always, sadly, been dirty. Palestinians are hurting, for sure. But the chump change the US has thrown in that direction was never enough to really solve any problems, just to stay slight above the water. As soon as I heard the threats last summer I thought 'let them keep their money.' Once you say no, what power do they have over you? If Palestine becomes a state, that richness will be impossible to measure. Let Israel and Jordan stay on America's IV drip.

15 ) joe FL. / U S A
01/10/2011 16:25
THIS IS THE ONLY THING THAT CONGRESS CAN AGREE ON. THEN THEY WONDER WHY AMERICA IS IN DANGER THROUGHTOUT THE WORLD

16 ) Michael Rivero / USA
01/10/2011 17:48
Saudi Arabia just stepped in to cover the shortfall.

17 ) Robby / USA
01/10/2011 18:27
"it is another kind of collective punishment" - Let me get this straight, the Arab world boycotts Israel in just about any way possible, and that is not "collective punishment", but when we decide not to give the Palestinians some of our money it is?

18 ) Lili / USA
01/10/2011 18:50
The American government will kill us all to make sure Israel gets their billions of "aid" each year. Even the money in our banks is going to Israel. Free Palestine! Thanks to all that are helping Palestine right now.

19 ) Nick p / usa
01/10/2011 19:06
Congress is full of the spirit of Christian love and forgiveness. Can you imagine Jesus saying "Don't help Palestine or Arabs, kill them all" Ah - don't you get a feeling of pure disgust from our "leaders"

20 ) Palestinian / Dubai
01/10/2011 19:39
tozzzzzzzzzzzz

21 ) Khurram / USA
01/10/2011 19:54
The paradox of foreign aid: Pakistan has received billions of aid from the US and it's barely hanging together. As far as foreign aid goes....Less is MORE

22 ) Mel / USA
01/10/2011 20:30
#2&3 lol! Hey! I'm American & I'm no fan of Zionism! I'm hurt dude! LOL! No really! Shame on our Congress of whores! They're really showing true colors now(blood red).But,it's all USAID(blood-money)anyway.66 yrs of innocent Palstn.blood! BTW! PLO/Hamas? Now might be a good idea to sue Israel at the ICC,for the 137 million Palestinian(Mandate)Pounds belonging to native Arabs,that Stern/Irgun cells stole from Palestinian banks,between 1945-8? 137 million UK pounds at todays interest rate? Do it!

23 ) Maureen / Australia
01/10/2011 20:34
6) chutzpahparkbear, only political Zionists hold the free lunch pass stamped by Uncle Sam!

24 ) Guest / USA
01/10/2011 21:10
USA is"building" itself by robbing and drinking the blood of the World. Then, Israel drinks the blood of the Americans. Both are hungry and penniless! The currency they show is not worth the paper it is written on. One day, we hope they will learn to EARN, instead of robbing the World. They still have time before they disappear from the Earth. Where are the the Romans, Greeks and the Pharaohs? All you can find are artefacts. Maybe, they can learn from History, instead of denying it.

25 ) Colin Wright / USA
01/10/2011 21:13
To Mel #22 '#2&3 lol! Hey! I'm American & I'm no fan of Zionism! ' This is getting to be like protesting that you were a 'good German.' These are our crimes, and to the extent that we do not fight against them, we are participating in them.

26 ) Malone / Hfx
01/10/2011 21:33
Who cares...really??..yawn...

27 ) Tony B? / ME
01/10/2011 21:37
US and EU aid is used to fund terrorists. Where do you think the money is going to that the PA gives to the Gazan government? What the hell is the West doing funding terrorism? Stop all financial aid, then watch how quickly this infestation disappears. Take the oil fields away from the Saudi terrorist paymasters and watch how quickly world terrorism disappears! Oh. I forgot. We need the terrorists so the NWO can justify removing our freedoms in the cause of protecting us from them.

28 ) Joe Fattal / USA
01/10/2011 23:42
Israel created their own State with a war, so the Palestinians. Not necessarly them, but a war will decide the outcome of the creation of a Palestinian State and their independence. Reecurrence usually happens. It happened in 1948, it will happen again. You can bank on it.

29 ) ABE / USA
02/10/2011 00:50
Hey Palestinians. Get your money from countries you care about!! You danced in the street on 9/11!! It's about time we stopped giving you money trying to buy your friendship!!

30 ) Faisal / USA
02/10/2011 01:48
Hey PA/Hamas and ilk...Allah will provide, right? Go ask your Saudi and Kuwaiti brothers to make up the difference....they are part of the ummah, aren't they? Abbas says FU to Obama and Congress, now we'll have our turn.

31 ) imad / was in dubai
02/10/2011 06:40
well actually the congress said come and tell us how and where you are going to spend the money. but that is too tough for pals. cause the planned on the money to go to the pocket

32 ) Robert Haymond / Israel?Canada
02/10/2011 08:51
Where are the Greeks, Guest. In Greece, of course. And the Romans, in Italy. And the pharaohs, in Egypt. Were you trying to make a point. Your ignorance is so huge that you have completely misrepresented the message of your own post. Incidentally, if the USA drinks the blood of the world, where do you live and why. You are not only ill educated but cowardly as well. If you so despise the USA, move somewhere and improve it instead of sitting on the sidelines behind your computer desk.

33 ) Ivan Himmelhoch / Australia
02/10/2011 08:57
Things are not as bleak as they seem. Palestinian Fair Trade products are world class, PALTRADE is well organised and I would hope shortfalls in finance will be made up by Arab and EU sources.

34 ) Seeking Peace / USA
02/10/2011 09:00
I thought America stands for peace and democracy for all! So WTF is happening here! Starving the people in Palestine that are tormented and terrorized everyday by the Israelis is not in part any way to solve the situation. Right when the Palestinians want to take a stand to state what is rightfully theirs. America wants to put them down in any way possible???!!!! REMEBER, ISRAEL STOLE LAND BY KILLING PALESTINIAN PEOPLE!!

35 ) aen rabion / malaysia
02/10/2011 17:14
americans are ignorant and oblivious to the facts on the ground. let the Joos suck them dry of their lives. then hopefully, they'll realise. but then it would be all too late.

36 ) southparkbear / usa
02/10/2011 19:17
thank you congress for showing leadership, courage and passion

37 ) Ivan Himmelhoch / Australia
02/10/2011 23:08
Sorry - I have to respond to Comment 37. A conservative Australian figure once had no real concern about refugees until he visited a camp set up in Hong Kong. That was a literal epiphany for him. What the US Congress needs is a visit to the OPT. To realise that it is almost impossible to drive anywhere without seeing signs of occupation - be it a wall, a military or settler road no go area, or some other prohibition for Palestinians, - and I doubt whether after this they would ever restrict aid.

38 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
02/10/2011 23:33
Just as I predicted, most Palestinians posting here say the U.S. should go to hell and keep its dirty money. If I were Palestinian I'd fully agree. Second, the U.S. is dumb as a doorknob for withholding money (as would we if we do, too). While we greatly appreciate U.S. financial aid, if we in Israel had to decide between U.S. money or following America's wishes, we'd stick to OUR wishes, first, too. Just think of how all this money could benefit all Palestinians if in Jordan/Palestine !!!

39 ) Philip / Ireland
03/10/2011 18:14
Yehuda Solomon, you make a lot of sense. I suspect however that a lot of those who post comments on Maan have never been either in Israel or the West Bank or Gaza. For example, they will not appreciate the difference between a short drive from [say] Beit Lehem to Ramallah for residents of Jerusalem, and the rather more tortuous route for residents of Beit Lehem without permits !
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