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House Passes FY2005 Foreign Aid Appropriations Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives agreeed to a $2.58 billion aid package for Israel. The Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, which includes $360 million in economic aid and $2.2 billion in military aid for Israel, passed by a 365-41 vote.

Earlier in the day, the House rejected a measure to restructure aid to Egypt in the Act by converting $570 million in military aid to economic aid. Another amendment, which would have withheld aid to Palestineans in the West Bank and Gaza Strip until there is a halt to terrorism, was withdrawn. The spending bill does not specifically designate an amount to go to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The president’s budget request earmarked $75 million for the Palestinian areas, to be administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The Senate is expected to address the measure after the summer recess.

Jewish Telegraphic Agency