Trump Administration Cuts All Aid to West Bank and Gaza

The Trump administration has ended all aid to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. The U.S. Agency for International Development [USAID] confirmed the decision Friday and said it was related to a Jan. 31 deadline set by new U.S. legislation under which foreign-aid recipients are more likely to be sued in anti-terrorism lawsuits. Congress’ Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA) makes foreign-aid recipients more exposed to being sued in U.S. courts over alleged complicity in “acts of war.” The Palestinians declined further U.S. funding to avoid that legal risk. “At the request of the Palestinian Authority, we have wound down certain projects and programs funded with assistance under the authorities specified in ATCA in the West Bank and Gaza,” a U.S. official told Reuters. “All USAID assistance in the West Bank and Gaza has ceased.” The deadline also sees the end of around $60 million in U.S. aid for the Palestinian security forces. No decision has yet been made about future staffing at the USAID mission in the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, Reuters reports.