All USAID assistance in the West Bank and Gaza has ceased

Illustrative A general view of the assembly hall in the Knesset during a session

Illustrative A general view of the assembly hall in the Knesset during a session

A Palestinian boy sits on a chair with a national flag as Israeli authorities demolish a school site in the village of Yatta, south of the West Bank city of Hebron and to be relocated in another area, on July 11 2018. But the US says it will continue to help with security cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis. The forces share intelligence and coordinate their movements with Israel.

The showpiece of that largesse is a new training facility in the city of Jericho, where US military personnel also provide training, and one of the locations visited by CNN during a year of exclusive access to the Palestinian Security Services.

In 2017, USAID transferred £204m ($268m) in aid to the Palestinians and another £45m ($60m) for Palestinian security forces. "Many of these ongoing projects have stopped now".

The circumstances that led to the death of Hamdi Naasan, a Palestinian father of four, last Saturday remain in dispute.

The latest cuts are a result of the U.S. This comes as the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA) takes effect.

The Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA) empowers Americans to sue foreign aid recipients in United States courts over alleged complicity in "acts of war". Under these conditions, the Palestinian government has refused US money, and the USA has abandoned wastewater and other development projects.

The US has confirmed it stopped all aid to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, in a step linked to new anti-terrorism legislation.

The problem with ATCA is that the United States had already so drastically cut aid to the Palestinians, that by the time it went into effect, there was so little left the Palestinian Authority believed it was safer not to take it.

There is an exception to the cuts.

Glencore’s copper and cobalt bolstered after restart of operations at mine
Own sourced copper sales, however, were some 22,000 tonnes lower than production, due to timing of shipments. Copper production met guidance, rising 11% to 1,453,753 tonnes from a year earlier.

The US cuts were widely seen as a means of pressuring the Palestinian leadership to resume peace talks with Israel and to engage with the Trump administration ahead of its long-awaited Middle East peace plan.

The Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Rami Hamdallah, informed the U.S. in an official letter sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo the day after Christmas. I would also like to make it clear: "if the quiet is not maintained in Gaza, we will make the decisions even in the elections period and will not hesitate to act", Netanyahu said, as quoted in the statement of his press service.

This development occurred in accordance with the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act, signed into law in October, that provides protections for American victims of worldwide terrorism. Attacks by settlers on Palestinians, their property and Israeli security forces increased by 50 percent previous year and have threatened to ignite the West Bank, Israeli security officials say.

"The security assistance is critical to Israeli security", said an Israeli official who was unauthorized to speak publicly.

Palestinian officials also criticized the cuts, prompting sharp responses from Jason Greenblatt, an assistant to President Trump and special representative for worldwide negotiations.

"Palestinians are too smart to continue to live as victims and recipients of foreign aid".

The crunch over funding for security coincides with the end of all USAID projects in the Palestinian territories.

USA officials say the cuts were made, in part, to pressure Palestinian leaders to cooperate with US efforts to broker a peace deal with Israel. But Erekat said no steps are now being taken to close the USAID mission in the Palestinian territories and no decision has been made about future staffing at the USA embassy in Jerusalem.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.