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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/26/17

Obama Gives PA $221 Million in Final Hours

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In his final hours as President, Barack Obama ordered authorized funds for the Palestine Authority to be sent to Ramallah.

The funds had been "delayed" by two Republican members of the House, Ed Royce of California, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Kay Granger of Texas, a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

Those two GOP House members had placed "holds" on the funds, which has been authorized by Congress in budget years, 2015 and 2016.

Royce and Granger said their reason for holding the funds were "moves the Palestinian Authority had taken to seek membership in international organizations."

News of Obama's decision to release the authorized funds were reported by the Associated Press, and reported in several publications, including The Times of Israel.

The Times explained that "Congressional holds are generally respected by the executive branch, but are not legally binding after funds have been allocated."

Congress members Royce and Granger had their reasons for delaying the funds. Among those reasons could be the influence of the Israel Lobby which shapes American politics toward what it perceives to be in Israel's best-interests.

The website Jerusalem Online, reported:

"A senior level US Department of State official and several congressional aides said that the outgoing Obama administration 'formally notified Congress' that the money would be transferred to Ramallah just hours before Donald Trump was sworn in.

"The funds for the Palestinian Authority were part of more than $227 million in foreign affairs funding that was released simultaneously during Obama's last day in the White House.

"In addition to the funds that went to the Palestinian Authority, $4 million went to climate change initiatives and $1.25 million to UN organizations."

A conservative site was less than charitable over the release of funds, starting with a question shaped by the Lobby/Fox News world view.

Here is the site, Hot air, in which you may also find a short clip from Fox News:

"Is this legal? Congress had held up foreign-aid funds allocated to the Palestinian Authority after Mahmoud Abbas tried an end-run around direct and unconditional peace talks with Israel for a two-state solution, by having international organizations recognize them as a state.

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James Wall served as a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois, from 1999 through 2017. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced (more...)
 

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