The wall between Israel and the Palestinian territories. (MissyKel / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Though the figure does not approximate the billions in military aid he pledged to Israel, the outgoing president granted a large sum of money to the Palestinian Authority during his final hours in the White House. This act, in conjunction with U.S. abstention from a recent vote in the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel’s illegal settlements, can be seen as a last-ditch effort to salvage what’s left of the Israel-Palestine peace process as far-right politics overpower both the U.S. and Israel.

From The Independent:

Republican members of Congress had tried to block the allocation after the group sought membership of international organisations.

The funds are to be used for humanitarian aid in the West Bank and Gaza, and other projects around governance and political reform.

Though holds placed by members of Congress are generally respected by the executive branch, they are not legally binding, and State Department officials said they would release the money just hours before Donald Trump’s inauguration on 20 January, Yahoo reported. … The news came as it was announced Mr Trump’s administration was in the “beginning stages” of discussing a plan to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

— Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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