2007-06-22 / Community

Weiner: Cut Aid To West Bank And Gaza

U.S Representative Anthony Weiner will introduce an amendment to the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, banning all aid, including humanitarian aid, from the United States to the Palestinian Authority, according to a June 15 press release from Weiner's office.

The move comes as Hamas militants have taken control of the Gaza Strip, declaring "the second liberation of Gaza," and the Palestinian unity government has been dissolved.

Weiner first introduced legislation in Congress to cut off funding for the Palestinian Authority, the West Bank and Gaza more than five years ago, citing the misuse of the funds which "embolden terrorism."

The United States sent $230.4 million to the Palestinian Authority in 2005. After Hamas, considered a terrorist organization, won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections in 2006, the U.S. banned all aid to the West Bank and Gaza, except for "humanitarian aid."

However, since this ban on all non-humanitarian aid went into effect, the U.S. has more than doubled the amount of aid- $468 million in 2006, up from the $230 million the previous year. Since 2000, the U.S. has given more than $947 million in aid to the West Bank and Gaza. According to Weiner, that's more U.S. aid in the last five years than during the previous 25.

"Providing funding to Hamas militants is not in the security interests of the United States," said Weiner. "Attempting to prop up Fatah [The Movement for the National Liberation of Palestine, founded in the 1950s and 60's] has been an expensive folly; it hasn't gotten us a more peaceful or accountable administration, and has not achieved any of our foreign policy goals.

"Now, more than ever, it is time we turn off the spigot of money we send to prop up ineffective leadership," concluded Weiner.

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