US redirects cut PA funds for new medical program

The United States plans to spend some of the money it took back from the Palestinians on a new medical program rather than let it get into the hands of militant group Hamas, US officials said Tuesday. The new $10 million US program was to be split, with $4 million early as Wednesday, a US official said. Those supplies would be distributed through clinics run by approved non-governmental organizations. The other $6 million was to be delivered through UNICEF. That United Nations body is a recipient of US donations through the US Agency for International Development. Rice said "we'll be talking about a plan to provide substantial, new in-kind, rapid intervention into the health care situation so that Palestinians can have health care." U.S. officials said the program would use some of the approximately $30 million that the Palestinian Authority returned this spring at US request.