We Could Be Spending $400 Million Less By Cutting Aid To The Palestinian Authority

We Could Be Spending $400 Million Less By Cutting Aid To The Palestinian Authority

The Palestinian Authority currently receives around $400 million per year from the US government, with the aim being to outspend Hamas and those inclined towards violence within the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, according to this CRS report.

However this money is now under threat as the Palestinian Authority is seeking to join the International Criminal Court (ICC), in order to bring legal action against the Israeli government regarding the conflict in summer of 2014.

Paul leveled this argument in support of his bill to defund Palestinian foreign aid:

“Certainly groups that threaten Israel cannot be allies of the U.S. I will continue to do everything in my power to make sure this President and this Congress stop treating Israel’s enemies as American allies.”

This move by the  Palestinian Authority to join the ICC can be seen as a middle finger to those who previously called for negotiations in the back channels of power.

The State Department claimed to be “deeply troubled” by the move to join the ICC, calling it an “escalatory step” that “damaged the atmosphere with the very people they need to make peace” (Politico).

But cutting off the Palestinian Authority comes with potential risks.

“It was in the Israeli and American interest to make severe threats in order to deter the Palestinians from joining the ICC,” said Nathan Thrall, a Jerusalem-based analyst with the International Crisis Group, “But now that the Palestinians have actually done so, both Israel and the United States need to ask themselves what is in their interest.”

Both want to preserve the PA and the security cooperation with Israel that is the PA’s lifeblood. So any punishment Israel enacts against the PA, “will have to avoid threatening its existence or put Israel at risk of taking on the economic and security burden that the PA now carries, thanks in large part to the financial support of Europe, the US, and to a lesser extent the Arab states,” Thrall added.” (Scoop)

What do you think? Should the Palestinian Authority be able to join the ICC? Or was it an unnecessary provocation to an already delicate situation? Join the discussion below, on Facebook or on Twitter.

Written by Abezier Coppe

(Photo courtesy of Zechariah Judy, Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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