$59 million in U.S. aid to the Palestinians (down from an original $86 million offer) has been cleared for transfer to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the State Department said Tuesday.
The United States is sending the money directly to Abbas to bypass the portion of the government controlled by the militant group Hamas, which the U.S. considers a terrorist group.
Last year, Hamas won the Palestinian elections, ending decades of rule by the Fatah party. Because Hamas refused to accept Israel and call for an end to terrorist attacks, the United States and the European Union cut off funding to the Palestinian government. The cutoff paralyzed the Palestinian government.