The US congress has released $40 million in aid for the Palestinian Authority (PA), previously suspended over the Palestinians’ UN membership bid, a State Department official said.
"We have been working with Congress for some time, because we don’t think it’s in US national interests to keep this money frozen," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.
The money, provided via the US Agency for International Development, is intended to fund food aid, health care, and infrastructure projects.
"We will continue to work with Congress when they come back in session to secure additional funding for these programs, because we think they’re important," Nuland added.
The US lawmakers, however, still maintain a block on some $192 million in aid for infrastructure projects in the Gaza Strip.
On September 23, acting PA chief Mahmoud Abbas presented the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with the statehood proposal during the UN General Assembly’s 66th annual session in New York.
The United States blocked $200 million in aid in reaction to the application.
The Palestinian Authority condemned the move and questioned Washington’s outrage at the Palestinians’ effort for an independent state based on the 1967 borders.