aid into gaza 190.114.
(photo credit: AP)
Two recently released US Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports on US
aid to the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza laid blame on the
Israeli government for delays in the creation of newly-trained
Palestinian Authority security forces and in the dispersal of US
humanitarian aid to Gaza.
flotillas not helpful
The first GAO report, presented to the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs and its subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia on May 11, specifically mentioned that the lack of consistently
applied guidelines for the approval of shipments of equipment to the
American-trained Palestinian National Security Forces in the West Bank
had delayed their successful deployment.
The report read, "[The] State
[Department] and EU donor officials told us that the Government of
Israel has not agreed to specific procedures for pre-approval of
equipment orders" but rather on "a case-by-case basis." It
continued to explain that the lack of an agreed upon time frame between
Israeli authorities and other involved parties for the review and
approval of equipment requests impeded the United States Security
Coordinators team's ability to estimate equipment delivery dates,
leading Palestinian National Security Force and Presidential Guard units
to operate months after finishing training without needed equipment.
The second report, presented to the House committee on May 14, described the difficulties USAID officials were
managing aid programs in Gaza as well because of "long delays in gaining
Government of Israel approval of necessary shipments of materials,
obstacles to staff movement in and out of Gaza, and interference with US
supported programs by the Hamas-led de facto
authorities in Gaza."
According to the second GAO report, since Hamas seized control of Gaza in June
2007, USAID officials have directed most economic assistance funds to
programs in the West Bank, with programs in Gaza focused entirely on