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Three Dems ask GAO to look into Palestinian fund

JTA

May 8, 2012 | 12:57 pm

Three Dems ask GAO to look into Palestinian fund

May 8, 2012

WASHINGTON (JTA)—Three Democratic lawmakers are asking the General Accountability Office to investigate the scope of U.S. funding for the Palestine Investment Fund.

Similar to a letter drafted last November, Reps. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), the original co-signers, in addition to Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday asked the Comptroller General of the GAO to investigate what U.S. funding was given to the PIF and under what circumstances.

As the senior Democrat on the Foreign Operations subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, Lowey’s name adds heft to the request.

The lawmakers expressed concern over the lack of accountability and transparency within the PIF.

“We are concerned about reports of an increasing lack of transparency for the PIF and that Hamas has taken control of PIF assets in Gaza,” the lawmakers wrote.  “We are also troubled by reports that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has stated his intent to use PIF funds to build housing for convicted terrorists responsible for killing Israeli citizens.”

The representatives also expressed fear that the terrorist group Hamas could be controlling aspects of the PIF.

“The possibility that Hamas is controlling aspects of the PIF is particularly troubling given the ambiguity surrounding the amount of U.S. taxpayer dollars contributed to the PIF,” the letter stated.

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