Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be bringing more than diplomacy when she visits Israel and the West Bank next week.
While the goal of Clinton’s trip is to breathe new life into peacekeeping efforts between Israelis and Palestinians, Reuters reports that Mrs. Clinton will announce a U.S. pledge of more than $900 million to help rebuild Gaza and strengthen the Palestinian Authority. George Mitchell, President Obama’s Middle East envoy, will also stop by the region.
While the U.S. does support Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, it still considers Hamas a terrorist organization, so the money will reportedly be funneled through nongovernmental organizations. The cash, which is desperately needed to rebuild the region, will help provide homes with electricity and water, after Israel’s latest invasion that left about 1,300 Palestinians dead and 21,000 homes destroyed.
The news is already receiving some criticism, as you can imagine.
“$900 Million From U.S. To Gaza: Is The Administration Nuts?” reads one headline from The New Republic, which writes, “The real issue is: where will the cash go? The administration is assuring us that it will not go to Hamas, as if anyone can assure that materiel and money can be siphoned off just to the desired parties. This, frankly, is a joke … and Mrs. Clinton knows it. So should President Obama.”
The U.S. doesn’t exactly have cash to spare right now, so if we’re going to hand over almost $1 billion to the Palestinians, let’s hope we know exactly where it’s going