House committee looks at P.A. corruption

The House Middle East subcommittee considered reports of Palestinian corruption and how the reports should affect U.S. assistance to the Palestinians.

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), who convened the hearing July 10, said assistance should take into account whether the recipients are corrupt. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) agreed, but pointed out how such considerations might constrain advancing U.S. policy, including a two-state solution outcome.

Witnesses at the hearing reported on the reluctance of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to investigate corruption except when it is useful as a tool to undermine his rivals. The witnesses stopped short of recommending a total cutoff of assistance to the Palestinian Authority. — jta