PA returns $30 million to US

Aid money returned following an American request to prevent Hamas acquisition.

abbas US envoy 298, 88 (photo credit: AP)
abbas US envoy 298, 88
(photo credit: AP)
The Palestinian Authority returned 30 million dollars to the American government out of the $50 million in aid that it was allocated, United States envoy David Welch said on Thursday. Occuring on the eve of the PA parliament's induction, the move to return the funds followed an American request for the funds in order to prevent them from falling in to Hamas' coffers. During his visit to Israel, Welch discussed the newfound complexities of providing aid to the PA with Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz. The US was investigating different methods of transferring the financial aid directly to the Palestinian people, thereby circumventing the future Hamas-led government. Earlier in the week, the European Union agreed to provide $143 million in urgent aid for Palestinians before the Hamas-led government took office. The funds were required to avoid "economic chaos" from paralyzing the Palestinian Authority, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said. Officials said the aid package comprised $48 million to pay for the Palestinian Authority's energy and other utility bills, $76 million for health and education projects and $21 million to help the authority pay its employees.