In Last Hours, Obama Approved Funds for Palestinian Authority

Barack Obama’s administration handed the Palestinians $221 million (£177 million) on his last day in office, officials say. The reason why these funds didn’t appear in the media sooner is because the aides and the State Department officials didn’t have authorization to speak on this matter and they had to demand anonymity.
A State Department source said that Secretary of State John Kerry informed several congressmen of the measure last Thursday just before leaving office. The aides said written notification dated January 20 was sent to Congress just hours before Donald Trump took the oath of office. The funds had been held up by the Republican majority in Congress.Along with the P.A. funds, another $6 million in foreign affairs funding was transferred, including $1.25 million for United Nations -sponsored organizations and $4 million for climate change programs.The money is from the U.S. Agency for International Development and is intended for humanitarian assistance in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

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The funding, which had previously approved for the 2015 and 2016 congressional budgets, had been frozen by at least two Republican lawmakers over the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to join worldwide organization.Those funds are meant to provide assistance for clean energy, sustainable landscapes, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and creating a climate technology center.The news comes as Mr Trump’s team revealed it was in the “beginning stages” of discussions to move the USA embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.Among Mr Trump’s most controversial remarks was his pledge to stop treating Israel “like a second-class citizen”, and his claim that he and Benjamin Netanyahu would work together to stabilise the region.