US cuts aid to the Palestinians by more than 200 million US dollars

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Palestinians protests along Israel-Gaza border

Demonstrations continue in response to President Trump the decision of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem; Trey Yingst reports.

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration has decided to cut more than $200 million in bilateral assistance to the Palestinians, according to a review of funding for projects in the West Bank and Gaza, the State Department said on Friday.

The Department of Congress of the decision, inform in a short, three-paragraph notice in the first the legislator and then to the journalists. He said the administration directs elsewhere, the money to the “high priority projects.”

The move comes as the President of Donald Trump and his Middle East pointmen, Jared Kushner, and Jason Greenblatt, staff your office to prepare for the rollout of a much-vaunted, but as yet unclear peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians.

“Under the leadership of President Trump, we have undertaken a review of U.S. aid to the Palestinian authority in the West Bank and the Gaza strip, in order to ensure that these funds, in accordance with the US national interests and the creation of value for the U.S. taxpayer,” said the Department. “As a result of this review, at the direction of the President, we conduct more than 200 million US dollars … originally for programs in the West Bank and Gaza.”

“This decision takes into account the challenges facing the international community in the provision of assistance in Gaza, where the Hamas endangers the lives of the Gaza citizens, and worsens an already humanitarian and economic situation,” the announcement said, without further details.

A key question, the United States had paid with the support for the Palestinian authority had its scholarships to the families of Palestinians killed, injured or imprisoned for attacks on Israel. Israel and the trombone administration have repeatedly urged the payments from a so-called “martyrs ‘ Fund” to be stopped, because they promote terrorism. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has refused to do so.

The Palestine Liberation organization denounced quickly by the decision, calling it “the use of cheap blackmail as a political tool. The Palestinian people and leadership will not be intimidated and not forced.”

“The rights of the Palestinian people are not for sale,” PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement. “There is no honor in constantly bullying and punish the people under occupation. The US administration has already meanness of spirit shown in his agreement with the Israeli occupation and the theft of land and resources, now it is the exercise of economic wickedness by the punishment of the Palestinian victims of this crew.”

The notice give be reduced exact amount of the funds, but said they had approved in the year 2017, as part of a $230.1 million package in economic support funds for the Palestinians.

An official of the specific amount said not been determined yet, because $25 million is planned in 2017 means for the East Jerusalem hospital network, the medical care of Palestinians, remains on hold and checked. All or part to be released of the still, or be reprogrammed, the officials said.

The United States had planned to give the Palestinians $251 million for good governance, health, education, and support for civil society in the current 2018 budget year ends on Sept.30. But to go with a little more than a month before the money must be used for reprogramming to other areas, or Treasury returned, less than half actually been spent.

Earlier this month, the Department had released over $60 million in the year 2018, the money for security projects, the promotion of cooperation between the Palestinian authority and Israel. Israel and Jordan, in particular, will be continued for the safety support.

The loss of support is almost certain to provoke the Palestinians against the Trump-peace plan. The Palestinian leadership was openly hostile to any proposal from the administration, citing what it says, a pro-Israel bias, especially after Trump Jerusalem recognizes as the capital of Israel in December and moved the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv in may The Palestinian authority and Abbas broke the contact with the United States, according to the Jerusalem announcement.

The announcement does not include some $frozen 65 million euros, U.S. funding for the U. N. Relief and Works Agency, which provides services for the Palestinians in the West Bank, the Gaza strip, Jordan and Lebanon. But the trump-management is very skeptical of the UNRWA and the money is likely to be reprogrammed, according to officials.

Friday’s decision follows a similar decision last week, the U.S. state Department announced that it will redirect $230 million dollars in aid, which was scheduled for the stabilisation programmes in the liberated areas of Syria. In this case, however, the Department said, the loss of U.S. funding would be more than compensated for by the other Nations, including Saudi Arabia announced a $150-million donation for Syria-stabilisation-only a few hours before the us announcement.

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