Failing a review directed by President Trump “to ensure these funds are spent in accordance with U.S. national interests and provide value to the U.S. taxpayer,” the State Department cut $200+ million in aid to the Palestinians.
WASHINGTON — The State Department has cut more than $200 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority “at the direction of the president,” the administration announced on Friday.
The aid cut is the result of a review of US assistance to the Palestinian Authority ” to ensure these funds are spent in accordance with US national interests and provide value to the US taxpayer,” said a State Department spokesman.
“As a result of that review,” the statement continued, “at the direction of the president, we will redirect more than $200 million in [fiscal year 2017] economic support funds originally planned for programs in the West Bank and Gaza. Those funds will now address high-priority projects elsewhere.”
- Hamas reiterates it will not make peace, will torpedo Trump’s Peace Initiative
- Palestinian autocrat Abbas: ‘We Reject Any American Peace Plan’
- Abbas says “No” to Tillerson, “No” to Trump. ‘Pay to Slay’ (Jews) will continue
The administration is blaming continued Hamas control over the coastal Gaza Strip for its decision. The terrorist organization’s grip on power there, the State Department said, creates “challenges” for the international community seeking to provide aid.
US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace team– led by Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, and Jason Greenblatt, his special envoy to the conflict– have prioritized investment in Gaza and believe the key to success in any future peace negotiation between Israelis and Palestinians is the end to Hamas control there.
The administration has cut aid to several UN bodies devoted to the Palestinian cause, including United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the Human Rights Council.
The PA cut off communications with the White House after Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December, relocating the US embassy there.
View original The Jerusalem Post publication at: