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Congress (mostly) signs off on Palestinian aid

Two Democratic lawmakers have singled out Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as the reason they are holding up the release of funds for an aid package to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Palestinians stand beside a truck loaded with sacks of flour received from The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the village of Anin near the West Bank city of Jenin June 4, 2008.    REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman (WEST BANK) - RTX6I8P

US lawmakers have released most of their holds on a $230.3 million aid package to the West Bank and Gaza, Al-Monitor has learned.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) notified Congress of the proposed spending in late September, prompting members upset with the Palestinian Authority (PA) to block the request. Since then, lawmakers have cleared all but $17.2 million of aid in their bid to bolster the PA and Fatah against its Hamas rivals while holding Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to account for what they view as his role in the worsening violence against Israelis.

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