Admin Cuts U.S. Aid to Palestinians
By Adam Kredo
Trump administration late Friday announced that it had cut $200 million in U.S.
aid to the Palestinian Authority until it can ensure this American taxpayer
money will not be used to fund terrorism, according to U.S. officials who spoke
to the Washington Free Beacon.
announcement follows the recent passage of the Taylor Force Act in Congress, a
bill aimed at providing greater oversight over how U.S. taxpayer dollars fund
the Palestinians. The PA has for years been accused of using aid dollars to pay
accused terrorists and their families annual salaries.
Donald Trump directed his administration to freeze $200 million in aid dollars
allocated to the PA for economic support, according to an announcement by the
State Department issued just a short time after lawmakers on Capitol Hill were
informed of the move, sources said.
senior U.S. official familiar with the decision to cut U.S. aid told the Free
Beacon the administration will no longer enable the Palestinian Authority
and those in the Hamas terrorist government to use aid dollars in their war
is fighting a morally-bankrupt war at the expense of the Palestinian
people," said the official, who was only authorized to speak on background. "Hamas's
corrupt and illegitimate control has provoked conflict and led to poverty and
hopelessness, while hampering the ability of the international community to
administration's decision is separate from Congress' mandate in the Taylor Force
Act but designed to work in parallel with it, the source said.
why the decision was made, this decision is separate from but consistent with
Congress's purpose in passing the Taylor Force Act, which restricts assistance
to the Palestinian Authority unless it ends the abhorrent practice of payments
to imprisoned terrorists and the families of terrorists," the official
administration acknowledges "the challenges the international community
faces in providing humanitarian and economic assistance in Gaza, where Hamas
control endangers the lives of Gaza's citizens and degrades an already dire
humanitarian and economic situation," the official added.
former senior Trump administration official told the Free Beacon the
decision represents a step in the right direction to push the Palestinian
government into genuine peace negotiations with Israel.
too long the Palestinian government has relied on a State Department that caved
to their whims," the former official, speaking only on background, said.
"It's nice to see America's foreign policy actions reflecting the
president's rhetoric and the will of the American people."
American people should not see their precious—and generous—aid dollars spent
on a regime that brazenly funds terrorism and works against American interests
and values," the source added.
senior congressional official who was briefed on the administration's decision
prior to its public release told the Free Beacon the president is
taking action long overdue and intentionally ignored by the Obama
has been working on reducing Palestinian aid for years, which both the
Palestinian Authority and Hamas spend on corruption, terrorism incitement, and
in many outright terrorism," said the source, who was only authorized to
speak on background. "The Obama administration found a variety of ways to
work around Congress's restrictions and laws. The Trump administration is
finally doing the right thing, which is implementing our aid policies the way
that Congress has repeatedly signaled it wants them implemented."
its formal statement, the State Department said that as a result of its
investigations into U.S. aid to the Palestinian government it determined a full
halt must be implemented "to ensure these funds are spent in accordance
with U.S. national interests and provide value to the U.S. taxpayer."
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 State Department said.