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:
- Preventing terrorism against Israel from Hamas and other militant organizations.
- Fostering stability, prosperity, and self-governance in the West Bank that inclines Palestinians toward peaceful coexistence with Israel and a “two-state solution.”
- Meeting humanitarian needs.