"Since the establishment of limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the mid-1990s, the U.S. government has committed approximately $5 billion in bilateral assistance to the Palestinians, who are among the world's largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid. Successive Administrations have requested aid for the Palestinians in apparent support of at least three major U.S. policy priorities of interest to Congress: (1) Preventing terrorism against Israel from Hamas and other militant organizations. (2) Fostering stability, prosperity, and self-governance in the West Bank that inclines Palestinians toward peaceful coexistence with Israel and a 'two-state solution.' (3)Meeting humanitarian needs. Between June 2007 and June 2014, these U.S. policy priorities crystallized around the factional and geographical split between the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The formation of a PA government in June 2014 pursuant to a Fatah- Hamas agreement has raised a number of questions regarding the implications for Palestinian unity, prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace and security, and U.S. aid. The Obama Administration has stated its intent to continue financial assistance to the PA and to carefully monitor the new government's composition and actions, while several Members of Congress have voiced skepticism and are considering changing conditions under which aid can flow to the PA."
CRS Report for Congress, RS22967