Obama again waives ban on Palestinian aid.

August 5, 2013

(Obama again waives ban on Palestinian aid. HT: IsraelMatzav/MFS OTHER NEWS)

With a stroke of his pen, President Barack Obama paved the way for more aid to the Palestinian Authority on Friday, waiving congressional restrictions on funding to the organization — again.

Citing the United States’ “national security interests,” the president signed an executive order providing $148 million to the Palestinian Authority. That is in addition to the $500 million Obama authorized just four months ago, also in apparent violation of congressional authority. At that time, Secretary of State John Kerry said he would like to see an additional $200 million go to the Palestinian group, according to The Washington Times.

“Some lawmakers oppose the aid, both because of sequestration budget cuts and the Palestinian Authority’s ties to the terrorist organization Hamas,” the Times reported.

Section 3 of the Palestinian Accountability Act provides in part, “No funds available to any United States Government department or agency to carry out the provisions of chapter 4 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 for any fiscal year may be obligated or expended with respect to providing funds to the Palestinian Authority.”

An administration official referred to the $148 million in aid as, “the most immediate and efficient means of helping the PA maintain and build the foundations of a viable, peaceful Palestinian state.”