Palestine Liberation Army (PLA)
The Palestine Liberation Army (PLA) was established as the official military branch of the PLO in 1964, in accordance with the resolutions of the 1st Palestinian Conference. At that time, three brigades were established: Ein Jalut in Gaza and Egypt, Kadissiyah in Iraq, and Hiteen in Syria.
Recently, with the establishment of the Palestine National Authority (PNA), important parts of those brigades in Egypt and Jordan were absorbed into the PNA security forces. It is reported that approximately 4,500 PLA members remain in Syria.
In FY 2004, the United States provided $127.4 million to UNRWA, and historically, the U.S. contribution has amounted to 22-25% of UNRWA's annual budget, the largest share of any donor nation. Section 301(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act [PL 87-195 as amended], mandates that no contribution may be made by the United States to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) except on the condition that UNRWA take all possible measures to assure that no part of the United States contribution shall be used to furnish assistance to any refugee who is receiving military training as a member of the so-called Palestine Liberation Army or any other guerilla type organization or who has engaged in any act of terrorism. In 2003, Congress approved the Consolidated Appropriations Resolution, 2003 (PL 108-7), section 580, which required the General Accounting Office (GAO) to report to the appropriations committees on State Department compliance with section 301(c) of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act and the implementation of procedures established to meet State standards for section 301(c).
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