In the final hours of the Obama administration, the order was given to release $221 million to Palestine that had been placed in holds by Republican members of Congress.

Departing Secretary of State John Kerry notified lawmakers shortly before departing his offices for the final time, and a formal notice was submitted to Congress by the White House dated January 20th, and delivered hours before Donald Trump took his oath of office.

In addition to the funding sent to the Palestinian Authorities, an additional $6 million was disbursed to other foreign organizations and the United Nations, intended for climate change research and the U.N. Peace Building fund.

The funds had initially been approved by Congress in both 2015 and 2016, before having holds placed on them by GOP Congressmen Ed Royce of California and Kay Granger of Texas.  Royce serves as the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Granger is a member of House Appropriations Committee. The holds were placed on the funds as a result of Palestine’s efforts to attain membership in a number of international organizations.