WEST BANK The Palestinian Authority (PA) says it will refuse American aid in its entirety after Washington cut humanitarian funds to Palestinians, adding that accepting such help could carry unwelcome legal consequences for the Ramallah-based administration.
The Authority sent an official letter to the US administration requesting it stop all aid to the PA, including assistance to the Palestinian security services, senior negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Tuesday.
US President Donald Trump has already pledged to cut almost all humanitarian aid to Palestinians. American-funded projects are being phased out gradually.
Erekat further said the decision was made due to concerns over the so-called Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA), approved by President Trump in October 2018, which makes it possible for US citizens to sue foreign entities that receive US aid.
This may prompt US families to start exposing the PA to costly lawsuits over alleged past Palestinian attacks, AFP said.
American authorities have, in the past, blamed Palestinians for political violence targeting American interests inside and outside the occupied territories. This is while Washington provides an annual military aid of around $3 billion to Israel, which engages in routine deadly acts of aggression against Palestinians.
PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah wrote in the letter sent to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo back on December 26, 2018 that as of January 31st, 2019, it fully disclaims and no longer wishes to accept any form of assistance referenced in ATCA.
The US aid features roughly $50 million in annual support for Palestinian security services, including support for security coordination with the regime in Tel Aviv. Israel claims that the coordination is crucial for maintaining calm in the occupied West Bank, where Israeli acts of aggression are a daily occurrence.
Relations between the PA and the US, already strained due to Washingtons unwavering support for Israel, took an unprecedented dip in late 2017, when Washington recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as Israels capital in the face of the Palestinians internationally-recognized claims to the occupied city.
The PA, in response, stopped recognizing any mediation role by Washington in the decades-long conflict with the Israeli regime.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.