A senior US congresswoman says the Palestinian Authority (PA) could face an aid cut if it pushes ahead with its unilateral statehood demand to the United Nations.
“That [demanding unilateral statehood] would be a very very bad thing to do. It will affect US aid to the Palestinian Authority. It would be a very serious step. It also could affect our funding at the UN,” said Texas Republican Representative Kay Granger, who chairs the House appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over foreign aid, the Jerusalem Post reported on Saturday.
An aide to a Democratic member of Granger's subcommittee has also echoed the threat.
“The aid to the Palestinians includes the US's understanding [that] the Palestinians will continue to keep pursuing peace with Israel as per the Oslo agreement. If they were to unilaterally declare a state they would be violating that understanding,” said the unnamed aid, as quoted by the Israeli daily.
“I think there's no question that if they were to unilaterally declare a state, it would affect our aid,” the aide reportedly added.
Pro-Israeli lobby groups in the US are known to wield major influence in both US legislative bodies, especially members of the committees that influence and set American government's fund appropriations and foreign policy.
Overwhelming majority of members of the US Congress receive campaign funds and other support from the Israeli lobby establishment, which regularly sponsors all-paid luxury tours to Israel for American legislators to meet with senior Israeli officials and purportedly receive briefings on the regime's security requirements in the region.
The Palestinian Authority has announced that it intends to work on the recognition of an independent Palestinian state at the UN General Assembly this September.
More than 100 countries have so far officially recognized Palestine as a state based on the 1967 borders that existed before Israel occupied East al-Quds (Jerusalem), the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.
Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported that the Palestinian Authority's financial institutions are ready for statehood now that they have carried out a series of economic reforms.
The World Bank verified the motion by strongly supporting the recognition of an independent Palestinian state, citing a number of Palestinian achievements, notably in health and education.
Meanwhile, Granger also emphasized that she and other US Republicans remained committed to granting further aid to the Israeli regime. The current amount of annual US aid to Tel Aviv stands at about USD 3 billion, by far the largest amount compared to any other foreign entity receiving aid from the US Government.
The pledge for sustained aid to Israel comes at a time when the Republicans are adamant in drastically cutting down many public funds and social program within the US.
The Pro-Israeli lobby groups in Washington have been demanding that the annual US funding for Israel becomes part of the United States' defense budget, which is less likely to face sharp cuts and would thus further secure funding to the Tel Aviv regime.