Wednesday, April 06, 2005

US Senate to give Palestinians $200 million - without conditions

Unbelievable. Time to write to your senator.

The Senate will restore a presidential waiver to $200 million in fast-track aid for the Palestinians, meaning the money will be spent without conditions.

The removal of the presidential waiver last month by the U.S. House of Representatives would have made it much harder for President Bush to send funds directly to the Palestinian Authority. JTA has learned that the Senate Appropriations Committee will restore the waiver Wednesday when it refers the request to the full Senate. It will keep in place nonbinding language urging the president to assign the money to projects run by nongovernmental organizations, and requiring two spending reviews in the next six months, but restoring the waiver removes any conditions on the aid.

Bush wants to fast-track the aid to facilitate Palestinian sovereignty after Israel pulls out of the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank this July.