President of the United States, Barack Obama, decided to release millions of dollars of U.S. funds to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank in a move that was explained as an effort to protect American security interests.Obama stated that transferring the financial aid to the Palestinian Authority (P.A..) in the West Bank is an appropriate move that is very essential to the security interests of the United States.
He sent a memo to Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, informing her of his decision that bypassed a Congress embargo on the transfer of money to the P.A. as a punishment for heading to the United Nations, last year, seeking international recognition of statehood and independence.
The amount that was held by the congress is $192 Million, while in November last year, the Congress transferred $40 Million to the P.A. to help it maintain security and improve the harsh economic situation in the occupied territories.
In October of last year, the United States said it is cutting its funding to the Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) after it voted for admitting Palestine as a full member.
Israel and the United States considered the Palestinian move to head to the UN as a unilateral move that does not help advance the stalled peace talks between Tel Aviv and the Palestinians.
The P.A.. in the West Bank said that its action is not unilateral but was made due to Israel’s ongoing violations in the occupied territories, including its ongoing construction and expansion of settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories.