The United States has asked the Palestinian Authority to return $50
million in US aid because Washington does not want a Hamas-led
government to have the funds.
The money is being demanded as part of a review of all US aid for
the Palestinians which began soon after the resistance group Hamas
won last month’s legislative elections. The US State Department expects
to finish the review in the next few weeks.
Sean McCormack, the US State Department spokesman, on Friday said
the caretaker government of Mahmoud Abbas had agreed to return the
$50 million, which was given to the Palestinian Authority last year for
infrastructure projects after Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza and parts of
the West Bank.
"In the interests of seeing that these funds not potentially make their
way into the coffers of a future Palestinian government (made up of
Hamas) … we have asked for it to be returned and the Palestinian
Authority has agreed," McCormack told reporters.
Over the past decade, the United States has given about $1.5 billion
in aid to the Palestinians. Most of that was channeled via