US to transfer $150 million in aid to the Palestinians

The US is transferring $150 million in aid to the Palestinian government in coming days, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad announced Wednesday. The payment is part of a total of $550 million the US pledged to pay to the Palestinians over three years, part of a total of $7.7 billion in pledges from international donors made at a conference in Paris in December. Fayad said the US money would go directly to the national treasury, to be used for running the cash-strapped government. Donors often prefer giving money for more prestigious development projects, rather than budget support, and Fayad said it was significant that the US earmarked the money for government operations.