United States Aid to the Palestinian Authority (Taken Question)
Question: Did any legislation enacted in the past year impose any new requirements on the Administration with regard to the Palestinian authority should the Palestinians make moves in the UN to enhance their status, e.g., are there any requirements to cut off aid, close the PLO office, etc.?
Answer: In December 2011, Congress passed new requirements in the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2012 (“the Act”), which impose additional restrictions should the Palestinians obtain “the same standing as member states or full membership as a state in the United Nations or any specialized agency thereof outside and agreement negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians.”
If this legislation were triggered, section 7086 of the Act would prohibit “Economic Support Funds” from being made available to the Palestinian Authority but provides the Secretary of State with a national security interest waiver authority.
Additionally, existing law dating back to 1987 imposes restrictions on the PLO maintaining an office in the United States. Section 7086 of the Act permits periodic waiver of the PLO office restrictions under certain circumstances, including certification that the Palestinians have not, after the date of enactment of the Act, obtained in the United Nations or other specialized agency thereof the same standing as member states or full membership as a state outside an outside an agreement negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians."