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PA: US cut off all aid in 2016: "No shekel or dollar has been paid"
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PA: US cut off all aid: 
"No shekel... or dollar has been paid"

 
PA: In total, all foreign aid to PA dropped 62% - 70%

PA: Only 3 donors have given "their aid":
the European Union, Saudi Arabia, and Algeria

PMW's exposure of the PA's incitement
 and misuse of funds 
led to US legislation prohibiting
direct funding of the PA 
unless "the PA is acting to counter incitement"

 

Itamar Marcus

According to Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, the United States has completely stopped funding the Palestinian Authority's general budget:

"2016 is about to end, no shekel or agora, or dinar or dollar has been paid."
[Facebook page of PA PM Rami Hamdallah,
Dec. 8, 2016; Interview with Voice of Palestine Radio]
 
 
Click to view

This corroborates a statement made by US Assistant Secretary of State Anne Patterson earlier this year. At a hearing in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US Congress following the release of PMW's report
The PA's Billion Dollar Fraud, Patterson was challenged by committee chairman Ed Royce as to why the US was funding the PA given documentation that the PA was still paying salaries to terrorist prisoners.

Patterson responded:
"None of our money goes to this [salaries to prisoners]. It's not fungible in that respect. Our money goes essentially to pay PA debts to Israel and to other creditors."

In addition, many other countries have likewise cut off funding to the PA, totaling between 62% - 70%, according to PA government ministers.

PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah: 
"The aid has decreased greatly, reaching a drop of 62% compared to 2011."
[Facebook page of PA PM Rami Hamdallah,
Dec. 8, 2016; Interview with Voice of Palestine Radio]

PA Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad Al-Malki: 
"The current Palestinian financial situation is difficult, and there is a large reduction in foreign aid to the PA, which is estimated at 70% compared to last year [2015] or the year before." 
[Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 10, 2016]

PA Minister of Finance and Planning Shukri Bishara: 
"The foreign aid has decreased by 70% in five years"
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 8, 2016]

For years there have been calls to cut foreign funding to the PA and/or condition the funding in response to PMW reports. In 2004, PMW published a report entitled Four Loopholes in American Anti-Terror Laws which recommended six changes in American law. Five of the six PMW recommendations were passed by the House of Representatives one month later.

Since then, American legislators have been adding additional conditions, due to the PA's activities and incitement that undermine peace. As a result, the PA has not been eligible for funding under American law for many years. However, the PA was able to receive funding because US law also enabled US presidents to waive the funding restrictions of the law if it was in American national interest. For example, this is one of the waivers announced by President Obama:

"MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE
SUBJECT: Waiver of Restriction on Providing Funds to the Palestinian Authority"
"By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 7040(b) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2012 (Division I, Public Law 112-74) (the "Act") as carried forward by the Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (Division F, Public Law 113-6) (the "CR"), I hereby certify that it is important to the national security interests of the United States to waive the provisions of section 7040(a) of the Act as carried forward by the CR, in order to provide funds appropriated to carry out chapter 4 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act, as amended, to the Palestinian Authority.
You are directed to transmit this determination to the Congress, with a report pursuant to section 7040(d) of the Act as carried forward by the CR, and to publish this determination in the Federal Register."
BARACK OBAMA
[Website of The White House, July 26, 2013]

However, Congress did not support the routine presidential waivers given the continued PA incitement to hatred and terror that PMW documented. To curb this, Congress eventually made it harder for the president to use the waiver, requiring him to show that the PA is "acting to counter incitement":

"Funds for the West Bank and Gaza Strip cannot be deposited in a PA account unless the President submits a waiver to Congress stating that doing so is in the interest of national security, and the Secretary of State certifies that (1) there is a single PA treasury account, civil service roster, and payroll; and (2) the Palestinian Authority is acting to counter incitement of violence against Israelis and is supporting activities aimed at promoting peace, coexistence, and security cooperation with Israel."
[Congressional Research Service report reviewing the history of
This year, PMW has continued to supply members of US Congress with documentation showing that the PA has not fulfilled these conditions of American law. During the terror wave in 2015-2016, the PA - Fatah leadership actively supported and justified the murder of Israelis. They also in general prohibit activities they are required to support - "activities aimed at promoting peace." The PA prohibits peace building activities between Palestinians and Israelis and vilifies them as "normalization."

It should be stressed that American law prohibits US money from being "deposited in a PA account," which is what Hamdallah complained about. However, the United States has been covering some PA debts, as stated by Assistant Secretary of State Patterson.

It is not only the US that has cut funding to the PA. PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah also said that this year's total foreign funding of the PA was 62% lower than foreign funding in 2011. He also singled out only three international donors as those who have been giving "their aid" to the PA budget in 2016:

"The countries that have given their aid... are the European Union, which always [gives] consistently and according to what is expected. When we plan the budget we know that the EU will pay. We thank Saudi Arabia, as President [Abbas] said at the Seventh Fatah Conference, and we thank Algeria. These are the countries that actually support our budget."
[Facebook page of Palestinian Authority PM Rami Hamdallah,
Dec. 8, 2016; Interview with Voice of Palestine Radio]

As PMW has shown, numerous parliamentarians in other countries, including Norway, Britain, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden have discussed and debated cutting off funding to the PA in response to PMW's reports on PA incitement to hate and terror, and its payment of salaries to terrorists. Whereas Britain publicly announced it was freezing 25,000,000 pounds - a third of its funding to the PA - according to the PA many other countries have likewise quietly cut off substantial funding.

Legislators and government officials in many countries believe that it is unethical and/or illegal to fund the PA while it pays salaries to terrorists and uses its budget to incite hatred and terror. The 62-70% drop in funding to the PA this year may, in part, reflect governments acting in response to those opinions.

The following are longer excerpts of the statements cited above by the three PA ministers, about the cuts in US and international funding:

PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah: "Since last year, there is a financial siege on the Palestinian government. The aid has decreased greatly, reaching a drop of 62% compared to 2011. For example, let's speak frankly, the US approved $263 million in 2016 as aid to the government. Look, 2016 is about to end, no shekel or agora, or dinar or dollar has been paid, if we speak frankly. We hope that this aid money will be paid. There are also many [other] countries that have not supplied their aid. The countries that have given their aid, and we always thank them, are the European Union, which always [gives] consistently and according to what is expected. When we plan the budget we know that the EU will pay. We thank Saudi Arabia, as President [Abbas] said at the Seventh Fatah Conference, and we thank Algeria. These are the countries that actually support our budget."
[Facebook page of Palestinian Authority PM Rami Hamdallah,
Dec. 8, 2016; Interview with Voice of Palestine Radio]

Headline: "Al-Malki: There is a large decline in aid to the PA, which is estimated to be 70% compared to last year"
"In everything connected to support of the State of Palestine's budget, [PA Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad] Al-Malki replied that there are headings connected to support of the budget, and there are detailed clauses that have been formulated that are connected to the mechanisms of the aid. He praised the decision that emphasizes the need to provide an Arab security net of an estimated $100,000,000 a month to the State of Palestine so that it will be able to deal with the pressures and the financial hardships, and to support the Al-Aqsa and Intifada Fund (established by the Arab league after the outbreak of the second Intifada - the PA terror campaign 2000-2005 -Ed.). He said: 'The decisions that were ratified are important, but at the moment a mechanism is required for the implementation of the financial decisions, because the current Palestinian financial situation is difficult, and there is a large reduction in foreign aid to the PA, which is estimated at 70% compared to last year [2015] or the year before it. Therefore we must seek new solutions, for some of which we return to the Arab home that adopts the Palestinian cause, in order to request aid in these difficult conditions."
[Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 10, 2016]

Headline: "Growth of 60% in income and drop of over 40% in the deficit - Bashara: The foreign aid has decreased by 70% in five years"
"[PA] Minister of Finance [and Planning] Shukri Bishara announced that the foreign aid to the PA coffers has decreased by about 70% in the last five years. Bishara said yesterday during his meeting with representatives of the donor states that in this period a rise of more than 60% in all income and a drop of more than 40% in the deficit has taken place, despite the drop in aid."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 8, 2016]



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