French diplomat: Palestinians received $3 billion in foreign aid in 2008

A French diplomat says that the Palestinians have received US$3 billion in foreign aid in 2008. Alain Remy, the French consul general in Jerusalem, said Tuesday that $1.8 billion went for the budget of the Palestinian Authority. Another $700 million went to specific programs. Finally, $500 million went to humanitarian assistance. At a pledging conference in Paris a year ago, donor countries promised to contribute $7.7 billion through 2010. The money is meant to shore up Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his peace efforts with Israel. Some of the money reaches Hamas-ruled Gaza as humanitarian assistance and salaries for Abbas loyalists.