"In June 2007, the United States and the European Union (EU) resumed assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) after President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party reasserted control over the PA in the West Bank. For the previous 14 months, the United States and the EU had imposed an aid embargo on the PA because it was controlled by Hamas, a U.S. State Department-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. During that period, humanitarian and some other forms of assistance continued to flow to the Palestinian people through international and non-governmental organizations. With the resumption of U.S. assistance, Bush Administration officials have said they hope to strengthen Abbas and further isolate Hamas, which remains in control of the Gaza Strip. In the meantime, the humanitarian situation for many Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza continues to deteriorate. The Palestinians are the largest per capita recipients of foreign aid worldwide and, with a shattered economy, are mostly dependent on external support to meet basic needs. This report will be updated as events warrant. For more information, see CRS [Congressional Research Service] Report RL34074, 'The Palestinian Territories: Background and U.S. Relations', by Paul Morro."
CRS Report for Congress, RS22370
U.S. Dept. of State, Foreign Press Centers: http://fpc.state.gov/