(h/t OTHER) HUSSEIN Obama 'admin' unblocks frozen funds so Palestinian Authority can receive $500mn in aid.(RT).The US has unblocked almost $500 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority as it faces its worst economic crisis in years. The move comes months after Congress froze Palestinian aid in response to its bid for non-member observer status at the UN.reward for bad behavior: your money
“To date, we have moved $295.7 million in fiscal year 2012 money…and $200 million in fiscal year 2013 assistance,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.
The first sum comprises around $195.7 million, allocated under the 2012 fiscal year budget for US Agency for International Development (USAID) economic, development and humanitarian assistance, as well as a further $100 million allocated to narcotics control.
The second sum of $200 million will come under the 2013 budget and be spent for direct budget support.
The news was announced after US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in a visit to Israel and the West Bank earlier this week. It was Obama’s first trip to the region since taking office in 2009.
During a meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Thursday, Obama reportedly asked the leader to refrain from turning to the International Criminal Court.“for any reason,” including settlement expansion, the Times of Israel reported.
Abbas previously stated that he would turn to the court if Israel began to build in the controversial E1 corridor that connects East Jerusalem with the West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim, but would wait two months before doing so, London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported.
Israel announced its plans to build in the area after Abbas’ move for a UN status upgrade.
President Obama's State Department announced on Friday that the President has quietly released some $500 million in aid money to the 'Palestinian Authority' over the last couple of weeks (Hat Tip: Sooper Mexican via Bad Blue / Carl).
QUESTION: Can I ask on Palestinian aid? There’s reporting out of the region that the funds have actually been unblocked kind of a bit quietly over the last couple of weeks, the 200 million that was held up in Congress, and that’s now been received by the Palestinian Authority.MS. NULAND: Jo, I don’t – I’m just finding it here. I did go through this about a week ago in some detail. I can do it again for you. To date, we have moved $295.7 million in Fiscal Year 2012 money, 200 million of that – see, this – numbers don’t – oh, and 200 million in Fiscal Year 2013 assistance. So breaking that down again, 200 million in FY2013 ESF money was direct budget support for the Palestinian Authority; 195.7 million in FY12 Economic Support money went for development and humanitarian assistance implemented by USAID; 100 million in FY2012 for International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement; and then in February – at the end of February we notified Congress about another 200 million that we’d like to move.QUESTION: So you’ve moved the 295 --MS. NULAND: Total of 295.7 in FY12 and 200 in FY13. Why don’t we go through it again afterwards if you need to?QUESTION: That’s been moved, okay.MS. NULAND: Mm-hmm.QUESTION: And then 200 is still – you want another further 200?MS. NULAND: Correct. We’ve notified.