Washington : In his final hours of the term as US President, Barack Obama has taken some hasty decisions, which includes transfer of funds worth $221 million to Palestine. Earlier, the US Congress had blocked this financial help. In spite of that, Obama took a lone decision to sign off the funds. This situation has created a stir in the United States.
A State Department Official and several Congressional aides have notified the details. Last week on Friday, Donald Trump took the Oath of Office of the President of the United States. A short while before Trump’s Oath-taking ceremony, Obama had sought permission of the US Congress for some important arrangements. Former Secretary of State, John Kerry, had notified some US Congress officials about the decision to release the money on Thursday. But the US Congress had withheld this ‘eleventh hour’ decision made by Obama.
Despite this Obama administration has committed financial help of $221 million. Out of this, nearly 97% of the aid will be allocated only to the Mahmoud Abbas Government in Palestine. From the rest, $4 million are to be used for programs to fight climate change and building a ‘Climate Technology Centre’. Apart from this, another $1.2 million is to be contributed to the ‘UN Peace building Fund’. Also in a last minute allocation, $1 million were committed to State Department’s Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan-Pakistan.
In budget years of 2015 and 2016, Congress had approved the allocation of funds to Abbas Government in Palestine. But later the US Congress took a stern stance against Palestine. The US Congress had claimed that the funds intended to provide humanitarian aid in areas such as Gaza and the West Bank were being directed to the terrorists. The US Congress had declined the funds stating that money is getting drained to the families of suicide bombers and terrorists either killed or imprisoned in Israel. Post this resolution, President Obama’s decision to provide such an enormous financial aid to Palestine has drawn mixed reactions.
Meanwhile, a few days back, the US Congress had denounced Obama Government for UN Security Council’s stance against Israel.