Home Archive 25/August/2018 09:26 AM

US cut in aid to Palestinians is collusion with occupation, political blackmail, say Palestinians


RAMALLAH, August 25, 2018 (WAFA) – The United States decision to cancel $200 million in aid to the Palestinians in the occupied territories is collusion with the Israeli occupation and political blackmail, Palestinians charged on Saturday.

A US State Department official said on Friday that at directions from President Donald Trump, funds allocated to Palestinian projects in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, which amounts to over $200 million, will be directed to elsewhere in the world.

Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and head of its Department of Public Diplomacy and Policy, and Ambassador Husam Zomlot, head of PLO General Delegation to the US, strongly criticized the US decision.

"The US administration is demonstrating the use of cheap blackmail as a political tool. The Palestinian people and leadership will not be intimidated and will not succumb to coercion. The rights of the Palestinian people are not for sale,” said Ashrawi in a statement.

“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," she said.

“This administration is dismantling decades of US vision and engagement in Palestine,” said Zomlot in a statement. “After Jerusalem and UNRWA, this is another confirmation of abandoning the two state solution and fully embracing (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu’s anti peace agenda,” he said in reference to the US decision in December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and its cut in January of aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) leaving the humanitarian organizations on the verge of collapse.

“Weaponizing humanitarian and developmental aid as political blackmail does not work,” said the Palestinian ambassador. “Only a recommitment from this administration to the long held US policy of achieving peace through the two-state solution on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem the capital of the state of Palestine and respecting international resolutions and law will provide a way forward.”

The recent unequivocal support of the US for Israel and its illegal occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip has prompted the Palestinians to cut all contacts the Trump administration and declare it unfit to lead a peace process between the Palestinians and Israel.

The Palestinians have also accused the US of hypocrisy since US official were talking about providing humanitarian support for the Gaza Strip, hard hit by 12 years of Israeli blockade and siege, while at the same time cuts aid to UNRWA, that looks after more than one million people in Gaza and now cancels funds to mainly humanitarian projects there.


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