The administration of Barack Obama handed $221 million to the Palestinians on Obama’s last day as the President of the United States.
State Department of the US released the said amount to Palestinian Authority, which is the body that is led by Pres. Mahmoud Abbas who presides over West Bank.
The money, which was taken out of the International Development Agency of the US, was intended to give assistance to humanitarian campaigns in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The huge sum of money would provide assistance in the reform of territories.
The administration released another $4 million for programs addressing climate change for the Palestinians. Another $1.25 million was given to UN organizations, as told by congressional officials to Associated Press.
Congress approved of said funding. However, Republican lawmakers obstructed the release. The opposition wasn’t legally binding, therefore, Washington proceeded to send the money a couple of hours before Pres. Donald Trump took his oath as the new President of the country.
The gesture was a farewell gift to Palestinians. Yet, it will be seen as Obama’s last shot at Prime Minister Netanyahu as their personal relationship was fractured and was deteriorated during Obama’s tenure.
Pres. Barack Obama, together with VP Joe Biden, walked through the US Capitol for the inauguration ceremony of Pres. Donald Trump on 20th of January, 2017, in Washington, DC.
Obama and Netanyahu clashed over numerous issues seen in Israel as crucial to the country’s national security. This included the nuclear deal of the Iranians signed in July 2015 and the policy of Israel directed to the peace procedure with the Palestinians. The friendship of the two was a struggle even though the administration of Obama handed Israel an astounding $38 billion dollar arms deal back in September of last year.
Last December, former Pres. Obama decided to go against the use of the veto of Washington for one resolution that was to condemn the settlement building of Israel in West Bank and East Jerusalem which was considered illegal by international communities. The Palestinians reserved both territories. Netanyahu, as expected, criticized the decision. The Prime Minister accused Obama of going behind the back of Israel just to put the motion on the table.
The move was against the comments made by Trump’s team about transferring the country’s embassy to Jerusalem. This was a very sensitive issue in Palestine and for the rest of the Arab world.
Press Secretary under Pres. Trump, Sean Spicer, dampened the talk of a forthcoming move. However, the right wing choice of Trump for Israel’s ambassador, David Friedman, declared that he is excited to work from Jerusalem once he takes the seat.
Pres. Trump talked to Israel’s Prime Minister over the phone last Sunday. He extended a dinner invitation to Netanyahu in Washington. Netanyahu accepted Trump’s invitation. The office of Netanyahu described the talk of both parties as “warm.” It is to be expected that Trump and Netanyahu will cultivate a good relationship in the future.