Congress Refuses Trump Administration Request for Israeli-Palestinian Peace Fund
The Democrat-led US House of Representatives has refused a Trump Administration request for $175 million that would have been used in the event of a breakthrough in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The so-called Diplomatic Progress Fund was not included in the $1.4 trillion 2020 Appropriations Bill. Instead, the spending package earmarks $150 million for Palestinian security and humanitarian aid despite the White House’s decision last year to cut off hundreds of millions of dollars for programs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. That, in turn, came after the Palestinian Authority imposed a boycott on US officials following President Donald Trump’s December 2017 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Regarding the Jewish state, the Appropriations Bill includes more than $3 billion in military aid in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the countries during the Obama Administration. Meanwhile, White House officials are remaining mum on when they plan to release the political components of President Trump’s long-delayed Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.