US unblocks $500 million in aid to Palestinians

State Dept. announces move on the heels of Obama’s visit to Israel, West Bank; US president asks Abbas to avoid ICC, says report

The US State Department announced on Friday that nearly $500 million in aid had been unblocked for transfer to the Palestinian Authority, months after Congress froze the funds in late-2012.

“To date, we have moved $295.7 million in fiscal year 2012 money… and $200 million in fiscal year 2013 assistance,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.