US officials cited in the Israeli press confirmed on Friday that the Bush Administration will pledge $500 million to an emergency collection international peace envoy and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is asking for in order to save the Palestinian economy.
At a gathering of donor nations in Paris this week, Blair and the Palestinian Authority will ask for a total of $5.6 billion in foreign aid over the next three years.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be in attendance to personally present her government's offering, but noted that without the approval of Congress, the funds cannot be released.
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is also expected to address the conference, where she will state that her government supports the bolstering of the Palestinian economy, but not at the expense of Israel's security.
Despite being the recipient of more foreign aid per capita than any nation or organization over the past decade, the Palestinian Authority has failed to honor its commitment to prevent its residents from attacking Israel. Israeli intelligence has revealed in the past that much of the foreign aid provided to the Palestinians found its way into the hands of the very groups attacking Israelis.
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