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Trump freezes Obama’s $221 million transfer to Palestinian Authority

Trump freezes Obama’s $221 million transfer to Palestinian Authority

Last minute transfer under review.

Legal Insurrection readers will recall that during its last few hours, the Obama administration sent $221 million to the Palestinian Authority that GOP members of Congress had been blocking.

Team Trump has now frozen those monies.

The Trump administration has informed the Palestinian Authority that it is freezing the transfer of $221 million which was quietly authorized by the Obama administration in its final hours on January 20, a senior Palestinian source has told The Times of Israel.

US officials conveyed to PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Tuesday that the funds were not expected to be handed over in the immediate future, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

On Tuesday, the State Department said it was reviewing the last-minute decision by former secretary of state John Kerry to send the funds to the Palestinians despite objections to the transfer by congressional Republicans.

The State Department indicated it would look at the payment and might make adjustments to ensure it comports with the Trump administration’s priorities.

…Congress had initially approved the Palestinian funding in budget years 2015 and 2016, with the US Agency for International Development sending the Palestinians $355 million in 2015.

But at least two GOP lawmakers Ed Royce of California, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Kay Granger of Texas, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee had placed holds on the funds as the Palestinian Authority had pursued “a unilateral tract towards statehood and they were not trying to work with Israel,” said Schanzer.

Congressional holds are generally respected by the executive branch but are not legally binding after funds have been allocated. “Most analysts and observers didn’t think Obama would or could do this,” said Schanzer.

But Obama did do it, and it remains to be seen whether Trump will undo it after this review.


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Humphrey's Executor | January 26, 2017 at 8:39 am

Use the money for the new Embassy in Jerusalem.

Interesting — I guess sometimes the red tape and incompetence works in your favor. If the money had really been “sent” or “transferred “as reported, it would be a done deal.

I would imagine these funds will still be in limbo (“under review”) when our embassy moves to Jerusalem.

Thanks, Obama! That will be really useful leverage.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to clintack. | January 26, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Didn’t Obama just ship pallets full of U.S. dollar (currency) and gold bullion bars in his deal with Iran last year?

      Yes. And the cash transfers violated every possible money laundering law.

      Impossible to get that cash back because even Obama admitted he didn’t know who would ultimately get it. (“good” terrorists or bad terrorists were the options).

We have no obligation to use it for some other purpose, even a noble one. It should be money NOT spent, so that the $20 trillion isn’t increased.

I’m not getting tired of all this winnng. I’m sure Ogabe understood that payments to the PA do not feed people or pay policemen or support the so-called “government” – rather, they buy Katushka rockets to fire at Israeli settlements. So that’s what he wanted.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Hamdullah. But, it appears a Stop Payment has been put on this check.”

NOTIFY the Palestinians that instead of money, we will deliver weapons to them. Then fly them in on B52 bombers!

I was wondering if they could put a stop payment on that check. Nice work, Trump administration.

    If Trump did nothing else in his presidency (he will obviously do a lot more), if he succeeds in blocking these funds to the Palestinians, he would be one of our all-time greatest presidents.

I imagine Obama’s wishing they had flown it over in illegal cash like they did the ransom payment to the Iranians.

It’s hilarious that in all his plotting and scheming for ways in which to “get away with it”, Obama dilly dallied around long enough to make it easy for Trump to reverse it.

Dr. Evil: All right guard, begin the unnecessarily slow-moving dipping mechanism.
[guard starts dipping mechanism]
Dr. Evil: Close the tank!
Scott Evil: Wait, aren’t you even going to watch them? They could get away!
Dr. Evil: No no no, I’m going to leave them alone and not actually witness them dying, I’m just gonna assume it all went to plan. What?
Scott Evil: I have a gun, in my room, you give me five seconds, I’ll get it, I’ll come back down here, BOOM, I’ll blow their brains out!
Dr. Evil: Scott, you just don’t get it, do ya? You don’t.

The only way money should be going to the Palestinians is when they start living in peace with their Jewish neighbours.

Secondly, as the Palestinians have received BILLIONS of dollars in aid perhaps someone in power should start asking questions around what exactly that money has achieved? Because it certainly hasn’t bought peace!

    Mac45 in reply to mailman. | January 26, 2017 at 10:59 am

    The money bought a lot of peace for Arafat’s family. He apparently diverted millions, if not billions, for his own use.

How much of that money was going towards Obama speaking fees?

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | January 26, 2017 at 10:58 am

WOW! That’s almost a quarter BILLION Dollars Folks!

Obama “bounced” too many check already in the past 8 years.
We can’t afford any more.

Hey, here’s a crazy thought. Why not stop the payment and not spend the money at all?

I believe the resignations of the top management at Foggy Bottom (AKA the Swamp) and this money transfer freeze are related.

    MikeE in reply to LWP. | January 26, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    My understanding is that these were pro forma resignations, that Rex Tillerson unexpectedly accepted.

      Arminius in reply to MikeE. | January 26, 2017 at 11:03 pm

      Yes, one of the people who resigned “unexpectedly” was Patrick Kennedy, the undersecretary for management. According to the WaPo, he was actively helping with the transition. He was cooperating because he’s been in that job ever since George Bush appointed him in 2007, and he wanted to keep it.

      But Tillerson and Trump “unexpectedly” wanted him gone. So they accepted his resignation, along with those of a bare handful of some of Kennedy’s top officials who also “unexpectedly” lost their jobs when this administration accepted their resignations.

      This is a non-story. Clearly the Trump administration hasn’t lost anyone that they wanted to keep on.

Here’s your check for 221,000,000.00USD, Mr Hamablabin!

Just kidding!!!

Could build a few miles of wall with $221M, just sayin’.