Against the backdrop of a fragile cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians, the United States is expected to announce a $30 million aid package to the Palestinian Authority (PA) Tuesday, reported the US consulate in Jerusalem.
Until now, the US has not provided any financial assistance directly to the PA, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), or affiliated groups. US financial assistance has been provided to contractors and non-governmental organizations in the West Bank and Gaza for specifically identified projects and initiatives.
Aware that the Palestinians have a new finance minister, Salam Fayad, White House spokesman Are Fleischer said, “This president (Bush) would never provide money if he thought the same corrupt leaders would do with the money what they've done in the past," reported AP.
The financing will be used to fix roads and restore other public services that were damaged as a result of Arab-Israeli warfare in the West Bank and Gaza. By the end of this year, the Palestinians will have received $124.5 million from the US Agency for International Development, while the State Department's refugees bureau will provide $89 million through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. — (menareport.com)
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