The State Department announced on August 24 that there are going to be more than $200 million in cuts from Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The announcement states that the department reviewed the aid they are giving to Palestinians at the behest of President Trump and concluded that the millions of dollars will instead go to “high-priority projects elsewhere.”
“This decision takes into account the challenges the international community faces in providing assistance in Gaza, where Hamas control endangers the lives of Gaza’s citizens and degrades an already dire humanitarian and economic situation,” the statement reads.
The Trump administration had initially planned to provide $251 million in funding to the Palestinians in 2018. According to the Washington Free Beacon, the decision to make the cuts came from the administration’s desire to “no longer enable the Palestinian Authority and those in the Hamas terrorist government to use aid dollars in their war against Israel.”
Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s executive committee, called the cuts “cheap political blackmail.”
“There is no glory in constantly bullying and punishing a people under occupation,” Ashrawi said. “The U.S. 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.”
According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), “The PLO was responsible for scores of acts of terrorism from its creation, resulting in the deaths of thousands of civilians.”