US approves $200 million for Israel's war against suicide bombers
Israel, which came under unusually heavy criticism from Washington Tuesday following its deadly strike on Gaza, found that the United States is willing at the same time to financially back its long-time ally, struggling to ward off Palestinian attacks.
While denouncing Israel's “deliberate attack against a building in which civilians were known to be located” as “heavy-handed'', the US House of Representatives passed this week a $200 million aid package intended to help Israel in its fight against suicide bombers.
The provision is part of a $28.9 billion anti-terror bill which also allocates $50 million in humanitarian aid for the Palestinians, provided the money does not go directly to the Palestinian Authority. The bill is now pending the approval of the US Senate.
The bill also provides $14.5 billion for continuing US operations in Afghanistan and other military needs, as well as $6.7 billion in emergency funding for the stepped-up domestic security efforts and $5.5 billion for New York's reconstruction after the September 11 attacks. Of the total package, $2.1 billion were directed toward foreign aid and US diplomatic programs.
American lawmakers also decided to spend $255 million over the next two years, counteracting what they dub the "Fantasyland of hatred" portrayed in foreign press reports of US, reported the San Francisco Chronicle.
The funds would be directed towards improving State Department communications strategies, financing exchange programs in predominantly Muslim countries and expanding US international television and radio broadcasting to Muslim populations. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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