12/15/2016

More and more countries are turning their backs on the PA and cutting funding over their support of terrorism and incitement.

The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) actions of supporting and promoting terrorism against Israel have finally caught up with it, and the US has completely cut its direct support to the PA in 2016 over its belligerent conduct.

PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah stated earlier this month that the US has completely stopped funding the PA’s general budget. “2016 is about to end, no shekel or agora, or dinar or dollar has been paid,” he said in an interview with the Voice of Palestine Radio, according to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).

Hamdallah’s remark corroborates a statement made by US Assistant Secretary of State Anne Patterson in April. At a hearing with the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US Congress following the release of PMW’s report, titled “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.

“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,” Patterson told the committee.

Many other countries have likewise cut off funding to the PA, totaling a loss of 62% – 70%, according to PA government ministers.

“The aid has decreased greatly, reaching a drop of 62% compared to 2011,” Hamdallah said in the interview. “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.”

PA Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad Al-Malki admitted to the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida in September that “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.”

Similarly, PA Minister of Finance and Planning Shukri Bishara said earlier this month that “the foreign aid has decreased by 70% in five years”

Mounting Financial Pressure on PA
For years, there have been calls to cut foreign funding to the PA over its support of terrorism.

American legislators have been setting restrictions and conditions to the PA funding, due to its activities and incitement that undermine peace. As a result, the PA has not been eligible for funding under American law for many years.

Yet 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, President Barack Obama announced such a waiver in 2013, saying it was “important to the national security interests of the United States.”

However, Congress did not support the routine presidential waivers given the continued PA incitement to hatred and terror. 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.”

During the terror wave in 2015-2016, the PA leadership actively supported and justified the murder of Israelis. 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 US has been covering some PA debts, as stated by Patterson.

Numerous parliamentarians in other countries, including Norway, Britain, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden, have discussed cutting off funding to the PA over the regime’s incitement to hate and terror, including payment of salaries to terrorists.

Britain publicly announced it was freezing 25,000,000 pounds – a third of its funding to the PA. Many other countries have likewise quietly cut off substantial funding, according to the PA.

Legislators and government officials in many countries believe that it is unethical 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 such opinions.

By: United with Israel Staff