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U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians

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Publication Date: May 2009

Publisher(s): Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

Series: RS22370

Topic: Government (Foreign relations)

Coverage: Palestine

Abstract:

Since the formation of a Hamas-led Palestinian Authority (PA) government in March 2006, the Bush Administration has suspended most foreign assistance to the PA, although humanitarian and other aid to the Palestinian people continues. U.S. policy makers have stated that foreign aid will not resume until Hamas, a U.S. State Department-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, disavows violence, recognizes Israel, and accepts previous agreements. Hamas has not complied with these demands. In the meantime, the humanitarian situation for many Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is worsening. The European Union, in conjunction with the World Bank, has established a temporary mechanism that allows it to avoid working with the Hamas-led government while providing some relief to the Palestinians. The Palestinians are the largest per capita recipients of foreign aid worldwide and, with a shattered economy, are mostly dependent on external support to meet basic needs. This report will be updated as events warrant. For more information, see CRS Report RL33530, Israeli-Arab Negotiations: Background, Conflicts, and U.S. Policy, by Carol Migdalovitz.