Trump Administration Backing Bill to Cut off Aid To Palestinians.
In what I feel is a correct move the Trump Administration is cutting off aid to the Palestinian Authority due to their continued practice of using these funds to pay terrorist that have committed acts of terror against Israeli civilians or to the families of the terrorist if they were killed while committing the act.
US Congress has put forth the Taylor Force Act (1), this will stop all funding to the Palestinian Authority if they keep using funding given to them by the US, which amounts to $357 million given in 2016(2), this was handed to the UN (UNWRA), of which $95 million was earmarked for the West Bank and Gaza. But that is not all, in addition, they gave $357 to Ramallah, even though they claim the US didn’t (3), this means that the US is giving over $710 million a year to the Palestinians, this makes the US the largest contributor in the world.
The breakdown of Aid given is as follows:
- $71 million for Gaza humanitarian assistance and water
- $41 million for water supply and sanitation,
- $31 million for economic growth, energy, and private sector development,
- $31 million for infrastructure, roads and community Infrastructure,
- $25 million for education and youth and $12 million for democracy and governance.
- Another $75 million was given for indirect support for debt relief.
In addition to the USAID money, Washington gave the PA $54,824,000 for security and justice assistance. Such funds can cover training and supplies for the Palestinian security forces, as well as training for lawyers and judges. Further funding included $8.7 million under the Middle East Partnership Initiative for West Bank- and Gaza-specific programming; $2.1 million for public diplomacy to support education, civil society, and women’s empowerment; and $2.2 million for the English Access Microscholarship Program.
The Palestinian government has tried to say they aren’t paying this money out, it is coming from the Palestinian Authority, that for the most part is a shame considering the leadership of the Palestinian government are also the leaders of the PA.
Part of the problem though is even if Washington is talking about cutting off aid Directly to the Palestinian Government, we are still paying over $350 million a year to the UN through UNRWA, this fund, in turn, is given to help finance the government not only in the West Bank but in Gaza with Hamas, who under US law are classified as terrorist, which under US law is illegal. This was further aided last year in the H.R.608 – Stop Arming Terrorists Act, making it illegal to give any US aid that can be shown to end up in the hands of the terrorist (4). This bill is cosponsored by both sides of the political spectrum, in addition to this you have 48 CFR 31.2 Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and 48 CFR 731.2 (5), which makes it illegal for not only the government to provide any aid that can end up in the hands of terrorist but for charitable or private groups to do so as well.
As such, aid to the Palestinian Authority should not only be withheld, but any aid going to the UN that is benefiting the PA, Hamas, or Hezbollah needs to be halted as well.