Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas extends his hand to US President Donald Trump at the Presidential Palace in the West Bank city of Bethlehem May 23, 2017..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – The Trump administration has released security aid to the Palestinian Authority previously withheld due to a comprehensive State Department review of US assistance to Ramallah.
A State Department official confirmed to The Jerusalem Post that the administration recently decided to move ahead with the transfer of roughly $61 million in security assistance, specifically earmarked for international narcotics and law enforcement as well as non-proliferation, anti-terrorism and demining funding.
“This assistance underpins Palestinian Authority security cooperation with Israel, which remains in force despite recent tensions,” the official said.
“This decision does not in any way prejudge the outcome of our review of other funding streams and programs. It is simply the first decision to emerge from the review, which is ongoing,” the official added.
Last year, the White House carried out a holistic review of assistance to foreign governments and funding of international bodies. Already as a result of that review, several UN organizations lost aid due to a State Department assessment of “chronic anti-Israel bias.”
US President Donald Trump has threatened the PA on Twitter with aid cuts in light of its decision to freeze ties with his administration over its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. But the State Department says that no final decisions have been made.
The US official said that the administration “continues to review our assistance to the Palestinians to ensure it is meeting our national security interests, achieving our policy objectives and providing value to US taxpayers.”
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