Congress Must Approve Palestinian Aid

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - A big chunk of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's $900 million pledge to the Palestinian Authority (PA) will have to be approved by Congress.

Clinton pledged the funding at the international donor's conference in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh last Sunday, with $300 million allocated to the reconstruction of Gaza buildings damaged in Israel's three-week military operation and the remainder going to the PA government.

But approximately $745 of the $900 million must be approved by legislators who to ensure the money doesn't wind up funding terrorism.

"In general, there will be a desire on the part of Congress to work with the administration and give them the flexibility they need to conduct foreign policy," one congressional aid told The Jerusalem Post.

"I'm sure there will be questions - as there always are - with regard to this kind of aid, about transparency, vetting and auditing to make sure money doesn't fall into the wrong hands," he said.

Meanwhile Congresswoman Shelley Berkley reportedly drafted a petition tying US. aid to the release of kidnapped IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Cpl. Gilad Shalit. The peition also called for withholding funds earmarked for Gaza until Palestinians stop firing rockets at Israel.

Berkely's spokesman, David Cherry, neither confirmed nor denied the reports.

Source: The Jerusalem Post, israel national news

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