Throughout 2011, Palestinian Authority leaders have mocked and minimized the significance of US aid, and even dared the US to cut off its funding of the PA.

Now that the US has announced a freeze of $200 million dollars, PA leaders are criticizing the US, claiming the freeze is “blackmail.” Fatah added that the US and other countries owe the Palestinians financial aid on moral grounds, calling US aid to the PA an “obligation” and a “political and moral right” because the US “aided in the establishment of the State of Israel.”

Earlier this year, both PM Salam Fayyad and Chairman Mahmoud Abbas criticized the US for linking its financial support to the PA’s political cooperation. Fayyad called US requests “extortion” and Mahmoud Abbas said: “The US is assisting us in the amount of $460 million annually. This does not mean that they dictate to us whatever they want.” (See quotes and sources below.)[Continue reading]