In a controversial move, the president has chosen to cut $200 million in aid to the West Bank and Gaza.
Palestinian leaders have condemned the decision, saying that the government is “weaponizing” humanitarian aid.
These cuts come on the back of an additional $65 million decrease in funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.
“The United States of America and President Trump’s administration is blackmailing and putting pressure on the Palestinian people. This decision cuts the aid, including the last $200 million. We were completely expecting it under the policy of blackmailing and threatening that the United States of America practices and in the context of passing what is called the deal of the century.” — Wasel Abu Yousef, Palestine Liberation Organization
According to Al Jazeera, a senior official has said that the State Department was told to “redirect” the $200 million to “high-priority projects elsewhere” that remain unspecified.
The decision was also apparently influenced by the inherent dangers that accompany aid workers attempting to deliver supplies to the Hamas-controlled territories.
“There is no glory in constantly bullying and punishing a people under occupation. The US administration has already demonstrated meanness of spirit in its collusion with the Israeli occupation and its theft of land and resources; now it is exercising economic meanness by punishing the Palestinian victims of this occupation.” — Hanan Ashrawi, Executive Committee member of the Palestine Liberation Organization
The decision will impact nonprofits and NGO’s in particular, with certain programs foreseeing their inevitable closure as a result of the cuts in funding.
Iron Triangle Press will continue to follow this topic.