Former President Barack Obama authorized a $221 million payment to the Palestinian Authority in the very last hours of his presidency, despite opposition from within the Republican-controlled Congress.
Obama’s White House and Department of State notified Congress on the early hours of inauguration day, the Associated Press learned. The funds were reportedly appropriated as part of the larger foreign affairs budget, but were held up by Republicans.
The last minute move fits within other actions taken by the Obama administration in the last weeks of their tenure. Obama also refused to veto a United Nations resolution condemning Israel for settlement building activity, an act which President Trump immediately denounced. Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry similarly admonished Israel in a parting shot, declaring that a two state solution was the only possible path forward to peace.
Throughout his presidency Obama defended U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority saying it was essential to bolstering the two state solution. The Obama administration defended the aid despite revelations of dealings between the Palestinian Authority and the terrorist government in the Gaza strip.
Nearly 750,000 Palestinians rely on the Palestinian Authority for jobs, which receives large swaths of it budget from foreign aid.
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