20 January '11
In August, the Congressional Research Service released a report called "US Foreign Aid to the Palestinians." it goes into great detail how much the US gives and in what forms.
The paper discusses methods that the US uses to ensure that money that is earmarked for the PA or Palestinian Arabs are not diverted to terrorist organizations. For direct aid, they have made progress compared to the past, although it is far from perfect.
The section on UNRWA aid is most revealing.
The US has given over $4 billion to UNRWA since its inception, and the amount has been increasing. Of course, the US is UNRWA's biggest donor, by far.
UNRWA tries to assure the US that funds are not going to terrorists, but there is a significant loophole. Here's the relevant section:
The primary concern raised by some Members of Congress is that U.S. contributions to UNRWA might be used to support terrorists. Section 301(c) of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act (P.L. 87- 195), as amended, says that “No contributions by the United States shall be made to [UNRWA] except on the condition that [UNRWA] take[s] all possible measures to assure that no part of the United States contribution shall be used to furnish assistance to any refugee who is receiving military training as a member of the so-called Palestine Liberation Army or any other guerrilla type organization or who has engaged in any act of terrorism.”
The May 2009 GAO report said that, since a previous GAO report in 2003, UNRWA and the State Department had strengthened their policies and procedures to conform with Section 301(c) legal requirements, but that “weaknesses remain.”33 Neither report found UNRWA to be in noncompliance with Section 301(c), and to date, no arm of the U.S. government has made such a finding. The following are some points from the 2009 report and subsequent developments related to it:
(Read full "UNRWA's Hamas loophole")
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