A top congressional appropriator, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, warned UNESCO that granting the Palestinians full membership could mean a cutoff in U.S. funding for the cultural body.
If the Palestinians don’t pull back from their statehood push, congressional cuts in aid are inevitable, U.S. lawmakers say. Just how comprehensive such cuts will be, however, could end up depending on Israel’s stance on the issue.
The Arab League called on its member states to offer more financial aid to the Palestinians in response to a report that the United States has frozen $200 million in assistance.
Palestinian plans to petition the United Nations for recognition and membership as an independent Palestinian state are going forward despite intense diplomatic pressure to back down. On Thursday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told foreign journalists that efforts by Israel and the U.S. are “too late” and that even if Israel would present a package of incentives for returning to the bargaining table, “We would first go to the UN and then negotiate.”