U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians. Jim Zanotti – Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs. July 3, 2014.
“Since the establishment of limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the mid-1990s, the U.S. government has committed more than $5 billion in bilateral assistance to the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, who are among the largest per capita recipients of foreign aid worldwide. U.S. aid to the Palestinians is intended to promote at least three major U.S. policy priorities of interest to Congress:
• Preventing terrorism against Israel from the Sunni Islamist group Hamas and other militant organizations.
• Fostering stability, prosperity, and self-governance that incline Palestinians toward peaceful coexistence with Israel and a “two-state solution.”
• Meeting humanitarian needs. For the seven years from June 2007 to June 2014, U.S. aid to the Palestinians occurred within the context of a geographical and factional split between
- 1. West Bank/Fatah: a U.S.- and Western-supported Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank led by President Mahmoud Abbas (who also leads the secular nationalist Fatah faction and the Palestine Liberation Organization, or PLO); and
- 2. Gaza Strip/Hamas: a de facto regime led by Hamas in Gaza.”