Press Release
Contact Information: Hussein Ibish
June 22, 2006 - 12:00am

Washington, D.C., June 23 -- The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) today noted the significant improvement in the Senate version of the bill concerning aid to the Palestinians. The Senate unanimously approved S. 2370 today, otherwise known as the Palestinian Anti-Terrorist Act of 2006. ATFP had earlier deplored the passage on May 23, 2006 of H.R.4681, the House of Representatives companion version of this legislation, which the Bush administration had opposed. The Senate bill must now be reconciled with the House version.

The Senate bill gives the Bush administration more discretion to provide relief to the Palestinians. While it does limit aid to non-governmental organizations, it makes exceptions for basic needs such as food, water, health, medicine, sanitation and education. A presidential waiver also allows the president to provide assistance for the administrative and personal security costs of the President of the PA and for the judiciary branch of the PA and other entities. Finally, the Senate bill provides assistance to promote Palestinian democracy and an exception for assistance for non-Hamas members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC.)

Commenting on the passage of S. 2370, ATFP president Dr. Ziad Asali said: "While it should be noted that the Senate bill passed today is much improved over the House version passed earlier this year, especially in giving the president wider discretion, we hope that in the end this bill will be rendered moot by the renewal of serious political negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians."


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017