Bush wants $150 million cash to P.A.

Of the more than $400 million in new money the Bush administration is requesting for the Palestinian Authority, $150 million is in direct transfers.

The White House buried the request last week in an emergency supplemental request to Congress for $45.9 billion for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. That request included $350 million for the Palestinian Authority, $25 million for training P.A. security forces and $35 million for refugees.

JTA has obtained a breakdown of the $350 million; $150 million goes to “cash transfer,” with the rest broken down into project assistance.

The difference is important. Congress in the past has been much likelier to fund project assistance for the Palestinians and resisted direct funding, citing corruption in the Palestinian Authority and blurred lines between governing and terrorist groups.

It might help the Bush administration’s request now that the current P.A. prime minister, Salam Fayyad, is a known corruption fighter who favors transparency and is confronting Hamas terrorists in the West Bank.

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