U.S. Senate Budget Allocates $75 Million for Palestinian Security Force – Significant Increase
Despite the angry political rhetoric and threats by the Palestinians to reject any assistance from the United States; and notwithstanding PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s threats to cut-off security cooperation with Israel, the U.S. Senate budget submitted last week allocates $75 million for the PA Security forces – a move clearly supported by some of Israel’s leading benefactors on Capitol Hill and even the Israeli lobby, to boot. This, unconnected to an effort led by a half-dozen Democratic lawmakers to make up for money cut-off for humanitarian projects in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The security forces grant is seen by both sides as critical, given the very real but little talked about ongoing security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians. Those privy to specific examples speak of numerous potentially major acts of terrorism thwarted by the mutual cooperation of the two forces. Local media reports have indicated that the funds were not in the administration’s reckoning but the omission was corrected with through the action and support of a number of Israel’s closest friends on the Hill.