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US threatens to cut funding to Palestinian Authority if it obtains UN recognition, supports ICC case against Israel

March 25, 2024 at 2:38 pm

Flag with the logo of the of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on March 29, 2022 in Den Haag, Netherlands [Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images]

The United States’ government has passed a bill threatening to limit funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA) if it obtains statehood recognition at the United Nations and if it attempts to move against Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC), amongst a myriad of other restrictions on aid and funding to Palestinians under Occupation.

In the resolution voted on by the US Senate on Saturday and signed by President Joe Biden, it stated that “None of the funds appropriated under the heading ‘Economic Support Fund’ in this Act may be made available for assistance for the Palestinian Authority, if after the date of enactment of this Act … the Palestinians obtain the same standing as member states or full membership as a state in the United Nations or any specialized agency thereof outside an agreement negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians”.

Another cause for the cutting of economic support for the PA would be if “the Palestinians initiate an International Criminal Court (ICC) judicially authorized investigation, or actively support such an investigation, that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians.”

Read: EU reinstates UNRWA funding and increases emergency support by 68 million euros

The document stated, however, that the US “Secretary of State may waive the restriction” regarding the UN recognition of Palestinian sovereignty “if the Secretary certifies to the Committees on Appropriations that to do so is in the national security interest of the United States”. That same allowance for a waiver does not apparently apply to the second restriction on legal proceedings against Israel the ICC.

Another major part of the $1.2 trillion funding bill – which aimed to avert a US government shutdown and finalise the year’s budget – is the continued ban on funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) until March 2025, despite that being the foremost Agency on the ground in the Gaza Strip amid the increasing famine and humanitarian crisis there.

At the same time, the bill allocates a further $3.8 billion in military aid to Israel from the $886 billion budget for the US Department of Defence, enabling the Occupation to continue its offensive on the besieged Palestinian Territory and commit its war crimes against its population, over 32,000 of whom it has killed already.

Targeting UNRWA: Whose gain?!