False Rumor Suggests U.S. Has Set Aside Funds for 'Palestinian Emigration'

  • February 13, 2009

A much forwarded e-mail claims that President Barack Obama has authorized over $20 million to facilitate emigration from Gaza.  There is no truth to this rumor.

In fact, on January 27, 2009, President Obama sent a memorandum to the Secretary of State, authorizing the redirecting of money in the State Department's Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance (ERMA) Fund – a fund established to deal with unexpected humanitarian issues -  towards Gaza relief. 

The authorized $20.3 million is being delivered through United Nations agencies and the International Red Cross to fund humanitarian programs in Gaza. 

According to the U.S. State Department, "These organizations are distributing emergency food assistance, providing medical assistance and temporary shelter, creating temporary employment, and restoring access to electricity and potable water to the people of Gaza."

This Memorandum does not deal with the status of Palestinian refugees nor "open the floodgates to Hamas" to enter the United States.

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