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News Brief


The Bush administration urged donor nations to make good on pledged contributions to the Palestinian Authority. “It has been clear for some time that the Palestinian Authority faced a serious and imminent budget crisis,” said a U.S. State Department statement released July 29. “This is why we have been working urgently with the Palestinian Authority and our partners in the international community, in particular with regional partners committed to peace, to do everything possible to support the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people.” The statement noted that United States’ contributions for 2008 were $562 million, surpassing a pledge of $555 million, and added: “The United States remains firmly committed to supporting the Israelis and Palestinians with the resources and resolve of the American government as they work to realize peace. We continue to urge all donors to maximize their budgetary support for the Palestinian Authority during this critical time.” The statement was released in response to a request from a reporter for comment on reports that Salaam Fayyad, the P.A. prime minister, was seeking emergency funding from the World Bank. Separately, on Friday, the U.S. Agency for International Development signed an agreement with American Charities for Palestine under which the U.S. agency would assist the private charity to disburse funds in Palestinian areas — an unprecedented relationship between the government and a charity.

The agreement would help assuage concerns raised by recent trials that some funds raised in the United States for charity have gone to affiliates of terrorist groups.

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