Saturday, October 24, 2015

US cutting aid to Palestinians by $80m in reported ‘message’ to Abbas

Annual economic assistance to drop from $370m to $290m amid rising Congressional criticism over Palestinian incitement, al-Monitor reports.
(Times of Israel) The US State Department is cutting its economic aid to the Palestinian Authority from $370 million to $290 million annually, in a “message” to PA President Mahmoud Abbas over recent Palestinian incitement amid a relentless wave of terror attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces, according to al-Monitor.

The 22 percent cut for the 2015 fiscal year comes amid rising criticism from Congress to act on inciting statements from PA officials in recent weeks in the wake of almost 50 separate terror attacks in just over three weeks.

“The State Department notified lawmakers on Sept. 25 of its intention to reduce economic aid for the West Bank and Gaza Strip from $370 million to $290 million in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30,” the report said.

On Thursday, the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously called on Palestinians to end incitement against Israel.

The non-binding resolution passed after a hearing on Palestinian incitement says “the Palestinian Authority has not fully lived up to its prior agreements with Israel to end incitement and should do more to prepare the Palestinian people for peace with Israel.”

It “urges President [Mahmoud] Abbas and Palestinian Authority officials to discontinue all official incitement and exert influence to discourage anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement in Palestinian civil society.”

The hearing was convened by committee chairman, Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA)

“This wave of violence isn’t some random flare-up,” said Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the top Democrat on the committee, at the hearing, “It’s the product of years and years of anti-Israel propaganda and indoctrination — some of which has been actively promoted by Palestinian Authority officials and institutions.”