All US funding to the Palestinians based in both Gaza and the so-called West Bank has ended as of the beginning of February. This is based on a new law to counter US aid being used by people who promote terrorism and violence, such as the Palestinian Authority.
It is important to note that the US has not itself stopped this aid, but it is the Palestinian Authority who is refusing to accept it.
At the request of the Palestinian Authority, we have wound down certain projects and programmes funded with assistance under the authorities specified in Atca in the West Bank and Gaza,” a US official said. “All USAID assistance in the West Bank and Gaza has ceased.”
The reason for this is because the US government passed a law last year in Congress called the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (Atca) which gives American’s the power to sue foreign aid recipients in US courts over alleged complicity in “acts of war”.
The Palestinian Authority is now refusing any further aid from the US because they do not want to face legal action.
“We do not want to receive any money if it will cause us to appear before the courts,” said Saeb Erekat, a senior official in the Palestinian Authority. “We are not seeking anything, the Americans have made their decision, but we will continue to participate in the fight against terrorism in the region,” Mr Erekat went on, clearly lying about the Palestinian role in combatting terror.
The PA claims to be innocent, but they are not, and they know they will not be able to win any legal challenges they face. It is easy to prove that the Palestinians pay hundreds-of-millions of pounds to terrorist prisoners and the families of “martyrs” every year because the PA is proud of that fact. PA records show the funding goes to terrorists and their families, senior officials have repeatedly spoken of this funding and Mahmoud Himself has vowed never to stop it. This is on top of all the incitement in schools, glorification of terrorism on state media and more.
A spokesperson for Mahmoud Abbas has claimed that “the suspension of aid to our people, which included critical sectors such as health and education, will have a negative impact on all, create a negative atmosphere, and increase instability”.
It should be obvious to see that this lack of funding for “critical sectors” is the fault of the Palestinian leadership. Because they fund terrorism they are now unable to receive US aid without facing legal action. If they simply stopped funding terror and inciting violence they would have the aid they need to continue as normal.
Sadly, many will blame the Trump administration for any economic challenges faced by the Palestinian people. However, President Trump and his government should be praised for their actions. They are taking real steps against terrorism, defending Israel and actively pressuring the Palestinians to stop supporting terrorism and come back to the negotiating table. It is time more governments did the same, not least the United Kingdom.