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U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians

(FY 2017)

Excerpted Report:

    - Overview
    - Support for Palestinian Terrorists?
    - Types of Bilateral aid to the Palestinians
    - US Contributions to UNRWA
    - Conclusion

Read Full Congressional Report - CLICK HERE


Since the establishment of limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the mid-1990s, the U.S. government has committed more than $5 billion in bilateral economic and non-lethal security assistance to the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, who are among the largest per capita recipients of foreign aid worldwide. U.S. aid to the Palestinians is intended to promote at least three major U.S. policy priorities of interest to Congress:  

  • Promoting the prevention or mitigation of terrorism against Israel from the Sunni Islamist group Hamas and other militant organizations.  
  • Fostering stability, prosperity, and self-governance that may incline Palestinians toward peaceful coexistence with Israel and a “two-state solution.”  
  • Meeting humanitarian needs.

Since June 2007, U.S. aid to the Palestinians has occurred within the context of a geographical and factional split between

  • West Bank/Fatah: a U.S.- and Western-supported Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank led by President Mahmoud Abbas (who also directs the secular nationalist Fatah faction and the Palestine Liberation Organization, or PLO) ; and
  • Gaza Strip/Hamas: Hamas de facto control in Gaza.

After Hamas won January 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, a factional standoff between Fatah and Hamas ensued—with Mahmoud Abbas as PA president and Hamas members as government ministers and with a majority in the Palestinian Legislative Council. These tensions ultimately led to armed conflict that led to Hamas’s forcible takeover of the Gaza Strip in June 2007. In response to the Hamas takeover, PA President Abbas dissolved the Hamas-led government and appointed a “caretaker” technocratic PA government in the West Bank. 

The geographical and factional split was called into question by an April 2014 agreement between Fatah and Hamas that led to the June 2014 formation of a PA government with nominal sway over PA-controlled areas in both the West Bank and Gaza. None of the government’s ministers are Hamas members, and some positions within the government were reshuffled in July 2015, apparently without Hamas approval.  However, practical control over Gaza’s security and territory has continued to reside with Hamas personnel. As of late 2016, both the PA in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza face questions regarding leadership and succession. 

After the West Bank-Gaza split in June 2007, the United States boosted aid levels to the Palestinians, primarily in direct support of the PA’s security, governance, development, and reform programs in the West Bank under Abbas (including during the 2007-2013 tenure of former PA prime minister Salam Fayyad), presumably in part to counter Hamas. As a result, the post- 2007 annual average of U.S. bilateral assistance is substantially greater than the approximate annual average of $170 million from 2000 to 2007, and $70 million from 1994 to 1999.

From FY2008 to the present, annual Economic Support Fund (ESF) assistance to the West Bank and Gaza Strip has averaged around $400 million, with much of this going toward U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-administered project assistance (through grants and contracts), and the rest toward budget support for the Palestinian Authority (PA). Annual International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (INCLE) non-lethal assistance for PA security forces and the criminal justice sector in the West Bank has averaged around $100 million. In line with Obama Administration requests, baseline funding levels for both ESF (including ESF-Overseas Contingency Operations, or ESF-OCO) and INCLE have declined since FY2013, with FY2017 requested annual assistance amounts of $327.6 million for ESF and $35 million for INCLE.

U.S. Bilateral Assistance to the Palestinians, FY2008-FY2015
(regular and supplemental appropriations; current year $ in millions)

US aid to Palestinians

Table Sources: Congressional Research Service, U.S. State Department, USAID.
Notes: Oslo I (the Declaration of Principles) and II (the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip) refer to agreements between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Oslo I paved the way for limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza, and Oslo II established the framework for it. The Gaza/West Bank split of June 2007 occurred when Hamas forcibly seized control in Gaza. In response, PA President Mahmoud Abbas dissolved the PA cabinet that was nominally led by Hamas figures, and appointed a new government with supposed sway over both territories, but de facto limited self-rule only in the West Bank. The large amount of aid for FY2009 is partly due to post-conflict recovery needs from the 2008-2009 Israel-Gaza conflict (Israeli codename Operation Cast Lead).

U.S. Bilateral Assistance to the Palestinians, FY2011-FY2017

Detailed US Assistance to Pal

Table Sources: Congressional Research Service, U.S. State Department, USAID.
Notes: All amounts are approximate. Amounts stated for FY2016 have been appropriated but may remain subject to future obligation. Amounts stated for FY2017 have been requested, with ultimate FY2017 appropriation and allocation amounts to be determined. NADR = Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, Demining and Related Programs, INCLE = International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement, ESF = Economic Support Fund, OCO = Overseas Contingency Operations.

Additional U.S. humanitarian assistance for Palestinian refugees in Gaza and elsewhere continues through contributions to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). U.S. contributions to UNRWA, which have totaled more than $5.6 billion since UNRWA’s inception in 1950, have averaged over $250 million annually since 2007.

Support for Palestinian Terrorists?

Largely because of congressional concerns that U.S. funds might be diverted to Palestinian terrorist groups, aid to Palestinians is subject to a host of vetting and oversight requirements and legislative restrictions (see “Other Selected Conditions, Limitations, and Restrictions on Aid”).

A number of observers asserted in the past that because money is fungible, any U.S. aid for the PA indirectly supported PA payments supposedly going to some Palestinians (and/or their families) who were imprisoned for or accused of terrorism by Israel. In 2014, the Palestinians reportedly shifted the responsibility for making these payments from the PA to the PLO budget, largely in order to defuse concerns among the PA’s international donors about perceptions that the donors might be indirectly associated with the prisoner-related payments. Yet, some evidence indicates that the formal change in the organization responsible for the payments did not significantly alter the actual practice of how the payments were made.

Since FY2015, annual appropriations legislation has provided for the reduction of ESF aid for the PA “by an amount the Secretary determines is equivalent to the amount expended by the Palestinian Authority as payments for acts of terrorism by individuals who are imprisoned after being fairly tried and convicted for acts of terrorism and by individuals who died committing acts of terrorism during the previous calendar year.” An August 2016 news article quoted a State Department spokesperson as saying that “the PLO makes payments related to individuals in Israeli prisons including those convicted in Israeli courts of terrorism and other violent crimes, as well as others who have not been charged with a crime or who committed non-violent offenses such as political graffiti or participating in unauthorized demonstrations.”  The article further quoted the State Department spokesperson as saying that FY2015 U.S. aid for the PA had been reduced “in relation to these payments.” In October 13, 2016, correspondence with CRS, a USAID official stated, “The Department of State submitted a classified report to Congress in October 2015 that included the FY2015 reduction amount and methodology. The FY2016 report will be transmitted to Congress prior to the obligation of FY2016 ESF (including ESF-OCO) for assistance for the PA.”

For FY2017, both the House (H.R. 5912) and Senate (S. 3117) versions of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act would explicitly reduce ESF aid for the PA in an amount equal to specified payments made by either the PA or the PLO. 

Additionally, the Taylor Force Act22 (H.R. 6389 and S. 3414) introduced in fall 2016 would make ESF aid for the West Bank and Gaza conditional on a certification to Congress by the Secretary of State that the PA (1) is taking credible steps to end acts of violence by individuals under its “jurisdictional control,” (2) is publicly condemning acts of violence and taking steps to “bring the perpetrators to justice,” and (3) has “terminated payments for acts of terrorism against United States and Israeli citizens to any individual who has been imprisoned after being fairly tried and convicted for such acts of terrorism and to any individual who died committing such acts of terrorism, including to a family member of such individuals.”

Types of U.S. Bilateral aid to the Palestinians

Project Assistance (Economic Support Fund)

Most economic aid to the Palestinians is appropriated through the ESF account and provided by USAID and other government agencies to implementing partners (both for-profit and nonprofit grantees) operating in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Funds are allocated in this program for projects in sectors such as humanitarian assistance, economic development, democratic reform, improving water access and other infrastructure, health care, education, and vocational training. In addition to bilateral U.S. assistance to the Palestinians, some amounts generally are allocated from various foreign assistance accounts for Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation or Arab-Israeli cooperation.

USAID’s West Bank and Gaza program is subject to a specialized vetting process (for non-U.S. organizations and individuals) and to yearly audits intended to ensure that funds are not diverted to Hamas or other organizations classified as terrorist groups by the U.S. government. This vetting process has become more rigorous since 2006 in response to recommendations from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  In April 2016, a GAO report found that USAID had generally complied with vetting requirements since the 2006 changes.

Palestinian Authority Budget Support (Economic Support Fund)

Budgetary assistance is a part of the U.S. strategy to support the PA in the West Bank. The PA’s dependence on foreign assistance is acute—largely a result of the distortion of the West Bank/Gaza economy over nearly 50 years of Israeli occupation and the bloat of the PA’s payroll since its inception more than 20 years ago. Facing a usual annual budget deficit of more than a billion dollars, PA officials regularly seek aid from the United States and other international sources to meet the PA’s financial commitments. A 2016 World Bank report indicated that the PA has “reduced the relative size of the fiscal deficit by 15 percentage points of GDP over the last decade, a highly impressive achievement rarely experienced in other places around the world.” However, a declining trend in aid from external donors confronts the PA with an annual financing gap in the hundreds of millions. The PA routinely faces crises in finding budgetary funds from donors or lending sources, occasionally even receiving emergency advances from Israel on the tax and customs revenues it regularly collects on the PA’s behalf.

Financing the PA Deficit: 2008-2015

Detailed US Assistance to Pal

Source: World Bank, based on its staff’s calculations and on information from the PA Ministry of Finance and Planning.

From the final year of the George W. Bush Administration until FY2013, the United States provided amounts in aggregate of approximately $1.2 billion to a PA treasury account for the purpose of paying various PA creditors. According to annual foreign operations appropriations laws, congressionally approved funds for the West Bank and Gaza Strip cannot be deposited in a PA account unless the President submits a waiver to Congress stating that doing so is in the interest of national security, and the Secretary of State certifies that (1) there is a single PA treasury account, civil service roster, and payroll; and (2) “the Palestinian Authority is acting to counter incitement of violence against Israelis and is supporting activities aimed at promoting peace, coexistence, and security cooperation with Israel.” During the period when transfers were made to the PA’s treasury account, the United States retained prior approval of any transactions from that account, along with a power of audit over those funds and a three-year right of refund. 

In FY2014, the Obama Administration changed the method by which the United States provides budgetary assistance to the PA. Instead of transferring money to a PA account, U.S. practice is now to make direct payments to PA creditors. Pursuant to this practice, the Obama Administration provided $100 million in FY2014 ESF and $75 million in FY2015 ESF to various PA creditors (Israeli energy companies and East Jerusalem hospitals).  The Administration anticipates providing up to $75 million more to PA creditors from FY2016 ESF and ESF-OCO. In the Administration’s FY2017 budget request, it stated that recipients of direct payments will include “East Jerusalem hospitals and private sector fuel suppliers, to enable the PA to continue to provide critical services for all Palestinians.” In October 2014, a USAID communication to a congressional office (subsequently shared with CRS) indicated that the executive branch considers direct payments to PA creditors to be “assistance for the PA,” and therefore subject to most of the conditions on such assistance found in annual appropriations legislation.

U.S. Security Assistance to the Palestinian Authority

Aid from the INCLE account has been given to train, reform, advise, house, and provide nonlethal equipment for PA civil security forces in the West Bank loyal to President Abbas. This aid is aimed at countering militants from organizations such as Hamas and Palestine Islamic Jihad-Shaqaqi Faction, and establishing the rule of law for an expected Palestinian state. In recent years, some of this training and infrastructure assistance has been provided to strengthen and reform the PA criminal justice sector.

In its FY2017 Congressional Budget Justification, the State Department stated the following in support of its request for $35 million in INCLE funds for the West Bank:

INCLE funding will continue to build the capacity of the Palestinian Authority (PA) security sector and sustain the capabilities of the PA Security Forces (PASF). Modest programming will support the PA Ministry of Interior to improve its ability to manage and provide oversight over the security forces. To build toward the self-sufficiency of the PASF, emphasis will be placed on technical assistance, including a spectrum of training and limited infrastructure support, along with replenishing worn security force equipment. Programming will also support the justice and corrections sectors to ensure their development keeps pace with the rising performance of the security forces.

After Hamas forcibly took control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, the office of the U.S. Security Coordinator (USSC) for Israel and the Palestinian Authority has worked in coordination with the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) to sponsor and oversee U.S.-funded training for West Bank-based PA security forces personnel, many of whom were newly recruited and vetted. The USSC is a three-star U.S. general/flag officer, supported as of late 2016 by U.S. and allied staff and military officers from the United Kingdom, Canada, Turkey, and the Netherlands. From 2007 to 2012, nine full PA National Security Forces (NSF) special battalions and two Presidential Guard (PG) battalions— constituting more than 6,000 total personnel—received initial training at the Jordan International Police Training Center (JIPTC). Additionally, hundreds of members of the PA Civil Defense (firefighters and other emergency responders) have been trained in Amman at the King Abdullah Academy of Civil Protection.

Following the completion of initial training for various PA security force battalions, the USSC/INL program reportedly shifted to a less resource intensive “advise and assist” role alongside its efforts to assist the PA in improving the functioning of its criminal justice system. Refresher and advanced trainings continue for NSF, PG, and Palestinian Civil Police personnel in both Jordan and the West Bank,  alongside efforts to assist the PA in building the capacity to provide its own career lifecycle training. A Palestinian Officers Academy is scheduled to graduate its first class of junior officers in late 2016 or early 2017.

U.S. Contributions to the UNRWA


The United States is the largest single-state donor to UNRWA. According to UNRWA’s website, its mandate from the U.N. General Assembly is to “provide relief, human development and protection services to Palestine refugees and persons displaced by the 1967 hostilities in its fields of operation: Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”  “Palestine refugees” include original refugees from the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and their descendants—now comprising approximately 5.2 million Palestinians in the places listed above. U.S. contributions to UNRWA—separate from U.S. bilateral aid to the West Bank and Gaza— come from the Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA) account (including some amounts designated as MRA-Overseas Contingency Operations assistance, or MRA-OCO) and, in exceptional situations, the Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance (ERMA) account. These contributions are managed by the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). Since UNRWA’s inception in 1950, the United States has provided the agency with more than $5.8 billion in contributions. Other refugees worldwide fall under the mandate of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The budget for UNRWA’s core programs (previously known as the general fund, and now known as the program budget) is funded mainly by Western governments, international organizations, and private donors. Core programs include providing food, shelter, education, medical care, microfinance, and other humanitarian and social services to designated beneficiaries. In November 2016, the organization, which is primarily funded by voluntary donor contributions, projected a core program budget revenue shortfall for 2017 of $115 million. After asserting that UNRWA had lowered projected expenditures for 2016 by $54 million through various cost control and reduction measures, as of November 2016 UNRWA’s Commissioner-General stated that the organization still had a 2016 program budget shortfall of $48 million that it was urgently seeking to mitigate via donor solicitations.  UNRWA also creates special funds for pressing humanitarian needs and additional activities, and these funds also are regularly underfunded. Total U.S. contributions to UNRWA totaled $359.5 million for FY2016 ($160 million for the program budget, $199.5 million for emergency funds and additional activities).  Budget-relatedchanges in refugee services appear to have contributed to concerns and some protests among refugees in the countries and territories where UNRWA operates.

Historical U.S. Government Contributions to UNRWA
(in $ millions)

Fiscal Year(s)


Fiscal Year(s)




























































Source: U.S. State Department

Until the 1990s, Arab governments refrained from contributing to UNRWA’s budget in an effort to keep the Palestinian refugee issue on the international agenda and to press Israel to accept responsibility for their plight. Since then, several Arab states have made relatively modest annual contributions toward UNRWA’s core activities, while donating more generously to emergency funds and other activities.  As of late November 2016, Saudi Arabia was the second biggest single-state donor to UNRWA for 2016 (after the United States), with $150 million in contributions.

In Gaza, most observers acknowledge that the role of UNRWA in providing basic services (i.e., food, health care, education) takes much of the burden off the PA and Hamas personnel who officially or unofficially hold sway in the territory in either a governing or a security capacity. As a result, some complain that this amounts to UNRWA’s enabling of the Palestinians and argue that the organization’s activities should be discontinued or scaled back. This is in addition to critics who question UNRWA’s existence because they believe it perpetuates Palestinian dependency and resentment against Israel. However, many others, U.S. and Israeli officials included, assert that UNRWA plays a valuable role by providing stability and serving as the eyes and ears of the international community in Gaza. They generally characterize UNRWA’s continued presence in Gaza and its other fields of operation as preferable to the uncertain alternative that might emerge if UNRWA were removed from the picture,  presumably at least partly because Hamas or other groups appear incapable of adequately addressing the needs of the refugees who comprise approximately two-thirds of Gaza’s population.

Syria’s ongoing conflict has significantly affected the more than 500,000 Palestinian refugees that were based there at the outset of the conflict in 2011. UNRWA has sought and continues to seek emergency funding to address these refugees’ needs. According to the “Syria Crisis” portal on UNRWA’s website as of December 1, 2016:

An estimated 450,000 of the 560,000 refugees registered with UNRWA in Syria remain inside the country; over two thirds (280,000 people) are internally displaced and an estimated 95 per cent (430,000) are in need of sustained humanitarian assistance. This includes tens of thousands of Palestinians who are trapped in areas of active conflict, such as Yarmouk or Khan Eshieh in Damascus or Muzeirib and Jillin in Dera’a, with extremely constrained access to humanitarian assistance.

Of those who have been forced again into exile, around 42,000 have fled to Lebanon and more than 17,000 to Jordan. The vast majority are living a precarious, marginalized existence, unable to regularize their legal status or access civil registration procedures and basic social services. They are largely dependent on UNRWA for basic subsistence needs, including food and shelter, as well as basic education and health care.

Some Palestinian refugees in Syria have been killed or injured, and some have reportedly taken part in the conflict. Future events could exacerbate or mitigate the dilemma of Palestinian refugees in Syria, with potential implications for UNRWA needs assessments.

Issues for Congress

In past years, Israeli officials and other observers criticized UNRWA for various reasons, such as that it engaged in “one-sided political advocacy.”  UNRWA’s website states that its role encompasses “global advocacy for Palestine refugees” in addition to the provision of assistance and protection. UNRWA’s officials maintain that it fulfills its mandate as well as can be expected under challenging circumstances (i.e., UNRWA’s lack of a robust policing capability and other operational limitations, political pressures, and security concerns).

Vetting of UNRWA Contributions

The primary concern raised by some Members of Congress is that U.S. contributions to UNRWA might be used to support terrorists. Section 301(c) of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act (P.L. 87- 195), as amended, says that “No contributions by the United States shall be made to [UNRWA] except on the condition that [UNRWA] take[s] all possible measures to assure that no part of the United States contribution shall be used to furnish assistance to any refugee who is receiving military training as a member of the so-called Palestine Liberation Army or any other guerrilla type organization or who has engaged in any act of terrorism.”

A May 2009 GAO report said that, since a previous GAO report in 2003, UNRWA and the State Department (aka State) had strengthened their policies and procedures to conform with Section 301(c) legal requirements, but that “weaknesses remain.” Neither report found UNRWA to be in noncompliance with Section 301(c), and to date, no arm of the U.S. government has made such a finding. In November 2009, State and UNRWA signed a nonbinding “Framework for Cooperation” for 2010. The document agreed that, along with the compliance reports UNRWA submits to State biannually, State would use 15 enumerated criteria “as a way to evaluate” UNRWA’s compliance with Section 301(c). State has signed a similar document with UNRWA in each subsequent year.

According to the State Department, “Every six months, UNRWA checks the names of the approximately 5.2 million registered Palestinian refugees, other persons registered to receive UNRWA services, UNRWA staff members, and persons and non-state entities to/from which UNRWA has made/received payments, including suppliers, microfinance loan recipients, and other third parties, against the Consolidated United Nations Security Council Sanctions List. To date, there have been no matches.”  UNRWA has said that it is unable to screen those of its beneficiaries who are displaced persons from the 1967 war because it does not collect information on those persons. 

In 2013 correspondence with CRS, a UNRWA official said that UNRWA provides assistance “in the context of its humanitarian mandate, meaning that agency policy is generally not to deny education or primary healthcare benefits.” The official also said that if a refugee was denied benefits because of suspected militant or terrorist activities or ties, his or her child “would not be disqualified from attending an UNRWA school.”

Legislation and Oversight

Critiques of UNRWA’s operations are routinely raised, and some Members of Congress have supported legislation or resolutions aimed at increasing oversight of the agency, strengthening its vetting procedures, and/or capping U.S. contributions. 

From about 2011 to 2013, public debate intensified over whether UNRWA was perpetuating the refugee issue by providing services to descendants of the original Palestinian refugees from 1948. UNRWA officials insisted—despite some observers’ assertions to the contrary—that established “principles and practice—as well as realities on the ground—clearly refuted the argument that the right of return of Palestine refugees would disappear or be abandoned if UNHCR [the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, instead of UNRWA] were responsible for these refugees.”  In September 2013 correspondence with CRS on this issue, a State Department official stated:

In protracted refugee situations, refugee groups experience natural population growth over time. UNHCR and UNRWA both generally recognize descendants of refugees as refugees for purposes of their operations; this approach is not unique to the Palestinian context. For example, UNHCR recognizes descendants of refugees as refugees in populations including, but not limited to, the Burmese refugee population in Thailand, the Bhutanese refugee population in Nepal, the Afghan population in Pakistan, and the Somali population seeking refuge in neighboring countries.

The United States’ acceptance of UNRWA’s method of recognizing refugees is unrelated to the final status issue of Palestinian refugees, which is to be resolved in negotiations between the parties.

Opposing views on this subject highlighted a broader debate over responsibility for the multigenerational Israeli-Palestinian conflict and whether attempts to resolve the refugee problem separately were advisable and more likely either to lead to or work against an overall resolution that addressed both parties’ interests. In 2012, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs approved a reporting requirement in connection with FY2013 appropriations that, if enacted, would have required the Secretary of State to differentiate between the original 1948 refugees and their descendants. In a letter to the subcommittee, the State Department objected, asserting that this requirement would be “viewed around the world as the United States acting to prejudge and determine the outcome of this sensitive issue.” 

During the summer 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, some Members of Congress expressed concerns regarding reports that some UNRWA sites in Gaza may have been used illicitly by Palestinian militants to store weapons. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon established a board of inquiry to examine whether such illicit use occurred and whether some UNRWA sites in Gaza were damaged by Israel militarily. The board of inquiry submitted its report to Secretary-General Ban in February 2015, and on April 27, 2015, the Secretary-General’s office transmitted a summary of the report to the U.N. Security Council. In an accompanying cover letter, Ban deplored that “at least 44 Palestinians were killed as a result of Israeli actions and at least 227 injured at United Nations premises being used as emergency shelters.” Ban also stated that it was unacceptable that Palestinian militant groups used some empty United Nations schools to “store their weaponry and, in two cases, probably to fire from,” and that he was determined to ensure that no such incident recurs.


Implementing U.S. bilateral assistance programs for the West Bank and Gaza and making UNRWA contributions routinely present challenges due to regional political uncertainty, ongoing Israeli-Palestinian disputes, concerns over the composition and behavior of the PA government, and concerns that aid might be diverted to Palestinian terrorist groups. Nevertheless, the PA remains dependent on external donor assistance to meet its budgetary needs and it also seeks foreign investment to jumpstart its private sector.

In assessing whether U.S. aid to the Palestinians has advanced U.S. interests in recent years, Congress could evaluate how aid, either alone or in concert with other policies, has influenced

  • overall Israeli-Palestinian relations;
  • approaches to preventing or mitigating terrorism patterns and threats;
  • the preparation of Palestinians for self-reliance in security, political, and economic matters;
  • the promotion of regional stability; and
  • the addressing of humanitarian needs.

As part of any such evaluation, Congress could also consider the influence that different aid levels or types, and/or various complementary or alternative policies, might have had in the past or could have in the future on these same issues.

Even if the immediate objectives of U.S. assistance programs for the Palestinians are met, the long-term utility of U.S. aid in encouraging regional stability and Palestinian economic and political self-sufficiency might depend to some extent on progress toward a political solution that addresses Palestinian national aspirations and Israeli security demands.

Congress's assessment of the effectiveness of past aid in the context of U.S. policy priorities might influence its deliberations over

  • which aid programs to start, continue, expand, scale back, change, or end; and
  • which oversight, vetting, monitoring, and evaluation requirements to apply to various aid programs.

Read Full Congressional Report - CLICK HERE

Sources: Zanotti, Jim. “U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians,” Congressional Research Service, (December 16, 2016)