Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported on Tuesday at night that the Bush Administration authorized the Congress to send $59 million to bolster the Palestinian Security Forces loyal to the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas. A senior US official, talking on condition of anonymity, said that the congress “gave good political support for this issue” and that this money, which have been held by the congress, would also help Abbas in improving the main commercial crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel, in addition to aiding him in logistics, and other security expenses, Israeli online daily Haaretz reported.
The official said that this decision was done after consulting with Israel and getting its acceptance to the issue.
Several US congress officials said that “they fear that the money would reach Hamas movement since it formed a unity government deal with Fateh party, headed by Abbas”.
Haaretz also said that a large chunk of the money will be used for training the security forces, but US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, submitted a plan to the congress asking them to cut out the funds, and stated that she fears that the fund would go to the “wrong hands” referring to Hamas.
Meanwhile the US official said that the congress decided not to proceed with the transfer of funds until having a clear idea on the conducts of the new unity government.
The suggested funds include 43.4 million that will be used in training and strengthening the presidential guards.
The US official added that despite the security funding to Abbas, the western boycott to the Palestinian Authority will remain in place, Haaretz said.
Regardless of the boycott, several European officials held meeting with non-Hamas ministers of the new Palestinian government.
Last month, US officials held a meeting with the Palestinian Finance Minister, Salaam Fayyad, as Rice was visiting the West Bank.