US reviews Obama’s last-minute aid to Palestinians

State Department is reviewing decision to release $220 million to help Palestinians rebuild war-scarred Gaza strip.

In his final weeks in office, Kerry was critical of Israel's settlement expansion


2017-01-25 17:50:58




WASHINGTON - The US State Department is reviewing a decision made in the final hours of former president Barack Obama's administration to release $220 million to help Palestinians rebuild the war-scarred Gaza strip.

Officials said some of the money has already been transferred but that President Donald Trump's new administration would investigate last minute spending decisions to see if they can be adjusted.

"In a final act, then-secretary of state John Kerry instructed USAID to release $220.3 million for Gaza recovery programs," acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

"The Department of State is currently reviewing last minute spending approved by the previous administration and will make adjustments if needed to ensure that it aligns with the priorities of the Trump-Pence administration."

While a close ally of Israel, the United States is also a major donor to international efforts to help Palestinians to recover from recent conflicts.

In his final weeks in office, Kerry was critical of Israel's building of settlements on occupied Palestinian land, warning that it undercuts efforts to negotiate a two-state final peace deal.

Trump's administration is expected to be more sympathetic to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government, and the new president has chosen an ambassador with a track record of backing settlements.


MENA Now
Editors' Picks

The Arab Weekly Newspaper reaches Western & Arabic audience that are influential as well as being affluent.

From Europe to the Middle East,and North America, The Arab Weekly talks to opinion formers and influential figures, providing insight and comment on national, international and regional news through the focus of Arabic countries and community.

Published by Al Arab Publishing House

Publisher and Group Executive Editor: Haitham El-Zobaidi, PhD

Editor-in-Chief: Oussama Romdhani

Managing Editor: Iman Zayat

Deputy Managing Editor and Online Editor: Mamoon Alabbasi

Senior Editor: John Hendel

Chief Copy Editor: Richard Pretorius

Copy Editor: Stephen Quillen

Analysis Section Editor: Ed Blanche

East/West Section Editor: Mark Habeeb

Gulf Section Editor: Mohammed Alkhereiji

Society and Travel Sections Editor: Samar Kadi

Syria and Lebanon Sections Editor: Simon Speakman Cordall

Contributing Editor: Rashmee Roshan Lall

Senior Correspondents: Mahmud el-Shafey (London) & Lamine Ghanmi (Tunis)

Regular Columnists

Claude Salhani

Yavuz Baydar

Correspondents

Saad Guerraoui (Casablanca)

Dunia El-Zobaidi (London)

Roua Khlifi (Tunis)

Thomas Seibert (Washington)

Chief Designer: Marwen Hmedi

Designers

Ibrahim Ben Bechir

Hanen Jebali

Published by Al Arab Publishing House

Contact editor at:editor@thearabweekly.com

Subscription & Advertising: Ads@alarab.co.uk

Tel 020 3667 7249

Mohamed Al Mufti

Marketing & Advertising Manager

Tel (Main) +44 20 6702 3999

Direct: +44 20 8742 9262

www.alarab.co.uk

Al Arab Publishing House

Kensington Centre

177-179 Hammersmith Road

London W6 8BS , UK

Tel: (+44) 20 7602 3999

Fax: (+44) 20 7602 8778

Follow Us
© The Arab Weekly, All rights reserved