On Wednesday, we reported that departing President Barack Obama utilized the final few hours of his executive power to release a payment of $221 million to the Palestinian Government. The funds had previously been blocked by GOP lawmakers citing concerns about Palestine’s efforts to seek recognition from various international bodies. Reports now indicate that Donald Trump’s administration has frozen that payment pending further investigation.
According to sources that have requested anonymity, United States officials notified Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah that the funds would not be released in the immediate future on Tuesday evening. The State Department has announced that it is reviewing the decision made by former Secretary of State, John Kerry, as well as former President Barack Obama to send the money to Palestine despite congressional Republicans placing a block on the transfer.
While such blocks are traditionally upheld by the Executive Branch, there is no legal requirement to respect them.
The State Department says it will be reviewing the payment and make adjustments if necessary to ensure the transfer is in keeping with the priorities of Trump’s administration.