PLO slams US aid cuts to Palestine

US cut more than $200 million in aid to Palestinians

PLO slams US aid cuts to Palestine

World Bulletin / News Desk

The umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has slammed a U.S. decision to cut more than $200 million in aid to the Palestinians.

“This is flagrant declaration that the real aim of U.S. aid is to interfere in the internal affairs of other peoples and affect their national rights,” PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said in a statement on Saturday.

Erekat said the U.S. decision to cut aid “is a sign that [Washington] had abandoned its international obligations”.

“The Palestinian people reject any conditional aid,” he stressed.

A senior State Department official said Friday that the U.S. cut more than $200 million in aid to Palestine following a review initiated by U.S. President Donald Trump.

In a statement, the official said the funds originally intended for the West Bank and Gaza Strip will instead be used for "high-priority projects elsewhere."

"At the direction of President Trump, we have undertaken a review of U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority and in the West Bank and Gaza to ensure these funds are spent in accordance with U.S. national interests and provide value to the U.S. taxpayer," he said.

"As a result of that review, at the direction of the President, we will redirect more than $200 million in FY2017 Economic Support Funds originally planned for programs in the West Bank and Gaza," the official added, referring to the 2017 fiscal year.

In January, the Trump administration had made drastic cuts to its contribution to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.

Trump has sparked a global anger over his decision to unilaterally recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital last December. The move undercut long-standing underpinnings of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks where the city's status was to be determined as a final-status issue.

The Palestinians have snubbed calls from the Trump administration to return to the negotiating table, arguing Washington gave up its status as a neutral mediator by making the declaration.

Trump and his team are preparing a rollout of their long-mulled peace plan to end the decades-long conflict.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Ağustos 2018, 13:14