That $221 million transfer to the Palestinian Authority former Secretary of State John Kerry snuck through hours before Donald Trump took the oath of office may not be happening anytime soon, The Times of Israel reports.
A senior Palestinian source told the Times that the Trump administration informed PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah that it is freezing the transfer of the $221 million payout and that the funds “were not expected to be handed over in the immediate future.”
On Tuesday, the State Department said it was reviewing the last-minute decision by former secretary of state John Kerry to send the funds to the Palestinians despite objections to the transfer by congressional Republicans.
The department said it would look at the payment and might make adjustments to ensure it comports with the Trump administration’s priorities.
The Obama administration had for some time been pressing for the release of the money for the Palestinian Authority, which comes from the US Agency for International Development, known as USAID, and is to be used for humanitarian aid in the West Bank and Gaza to support political and security reforms, as well as help prepare for good governance and the rule of law in a future Palestinian state, according to the notification sent to Congress.
Even without the $221 million, the Palestinian source noted that in 2016 the PA received $250 million from the US government.
These funds included $180 million from USAID, $25 million to support Palestinian hospitals and $45 million to pay for fuel purchased from Israel.
Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee had placed holds on the Palestinian funding, which the Obama administration disregarded on its way out the door.
President Trump has had a very productive first few days in office. As Scott McKay of The American Spectator noted, while the “ink-stained curs” of the MSM were fixated on his inauguration crowd size and illegal voting, Trump was inside dismantling Obama’s entire legacy.
Federal agencies must now “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay” any portions of Obamacare creating financial burden on states, individuals or healthcare providers — which essentially guts Obama’s signature legislative achievement.
The Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines will now be built.
The federal government will no longer fund abortions performed in foreign countries.
America is withdrawing from the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty.
U.S. airstrikes severely wounded ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and turned several of his advisers into scrambled egg while trapping ISIS forces on what is for them the wrong side of the Euphrates River in Mosul, in a rapid escalation of the fight against the jihadist network.
Ajit Pai, the foremost critic of Net Neutrality at the FCC, is its new chairman, meaning the free market now has a friendly majority in that body again.
Trump froze all federal government hiring “except for the military.”
Trump essentially shut down the EPA pending Scott Pruitt’s confirmation. He also muzzled the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
There is no longer any content in Spanish on the White House’s website.
The Centers For Disease Control’s planned Climate and Health Summit will not be happening.
And now we can add freezing Obama’s $221 million payout to the Palestinian Authority to the list.