The World Bank says it will be providing $10 million in aid to Palestinian citizens.
According to the international body the funds will go to 5,500 families in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. A similar program in 2009 and 2010 also provided direct aid to some 25,000 families. The difference this year is the expected formation of a unity government between Hamas and Fatah.
When the World Bank donation happens it will be undermining a message much of the Western world stands for. That is ignoring a unity government whose charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish State.
In a letter to Mahmoud Abbas, Republican Representative Kay Granger and Democratic Representative Nita Lowey expressed their “serious concerns” about any efforts to seek UN recognition of an independent Palestinian state, with or without a unity government.
The message said:
“Our ability to support current and future aid would be severely threatened if you abandon direct negotiations with Israel and continue with your current effortsâ€¦”
Meanwhile, as an answer to news of the Fatah/Hamas unity government, Israel will be withholding tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority. The amount is $89 million dollars, being frozen by the Finance Ministry.
Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Salaam Fayyad, however said Israel’s decision to withhold money from the PA will not stop the unity agreement.
Fayyad said the PA is:
“In contact with all international influential forces and parties to stop Israel from taking these measuresâ€¦Threats … will not deter us from concluding our reconciliation process. It is our policy and we must work harder to end our divisions as soon as possibleâ€¦”