House leaders urge Kerry to cut PA funding

Leaders from both parties on the House Foreign Affairs Committee urged Secretary of State John Kerry to suspend funding to the Palestinian Authority until it withdraws from the International Criminal Court.

The letter, sent Jan. 22 and signed by the top Republicans and Democrats on the House committee and each of its subcommittees, stopped short of a threat to take congressional action. The only subcommittee leader not to sign was Los Angeles Rep. Karen Bass, the top Democrat on the Africa subcommittee.

In a separate Senate letter sent to Kerry around the same time, 75 of its 100 members said they would “not support” assistance to the PA, suggesting they would withhold approval of appropriations.

Both letters were careful to target direct funding to the PA; much of the approximately $500 million in annual U.S. funding for the Palestinians goes to humanitarian projects separate from the PA.

Cuts would affect U.S. funding for Palestinian security forces, which cooperate with Israel in the West Bank. — jta


Content distributed by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency news service.