RAMALLAH, April 28 (JMCC) - US State Department offiicials said Saturday that Washington would restore all development funding to Palestinians after a six-month freeze, reports the
An official with the U.S. Agency for International Development confirmed that $147 million, which pays for infrastructure, education, humanitarian aid and health projects, had been restored.
But the official could not say specifically whether Palestinian Sesame Street would resume.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
In October, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla, froze $192 million earmarked for assistance to Palestinians as a penalty for their United Nations membership bid in September.
The Palestinians attempted to gain international recognition via admittance to the United Nations, but they did not muster enough support.
The U.S. opposed the United Nations bid, saying it preferred negotiations as a way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ros-Lehtinen used her power as a lawmaker to place a hold on money Congress had already approved.
Congress later released about $45 million. Then in March, Congress released another $88.6 million, but with strict limitations that the money could not be used for road construction or Gaza aid, among other areas.
The cut-off and Israel's brief refusal to transfer tax revenues has contributed to a budget crisis in the Palestinian Authority, which has been repeatedly late in paying tens of thousands of employees.