Quarterly Updates for (16 Nov 2016 — 15 Feb 2017)

Three mos. after UK secy. of state for international development Priti Patel froze around a 3d of the UK’s annual aid to the Palestinians and ordered a review of funding procedures (see JPS 46 [2]), the Dept. for International Development (DID) announced (12/16) the results of the review DID pledged to provide the PA with up to £25 m. (approximately $31 m.) in the 2017 fiscal year, saying the aid would “focus solely on vital health and education services, to meet the immediate needs of the Palestinian people and maximize value for money.” The DID statement added that aid money would only go toward the salaries of health and education officials who had been vetted. No funds would be used to pay the salaries of PA employees in Gaza who have been out of work since Hamas took over a decade ago. DID also pledged to undertake an assessment of the PA’s fiscal and public financial management reforms.

Also of note: The Mail on Sunday published video footage on 1/8 depicting a “senior political officer” from Israel’s embassy in London plotting to “take down” senior UK officials for criticizing Israel and calling Foreign Secy. Johnson an “idiot.” Israel’s amb. to the UK, Mark Regev, offered (1/7) the British govt. a formal apology and the Israeli Embassy said (1/7) that the employee, Shai Masot, would soon be leaving his job.