US cuts aid to ‘Palestine-Israel’ conflict resolution programmes

The US has cut additional aid to the Palestinians for programmes supporting conflict resolution with Israelis, adding to more than $500m in other cuts.

The latest cuts come from $10m in programmes on reconciliation involving Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, as well as Jews and Palestinian citizens of Israel.

The portion of the money involving Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip was being redirected to programmes between Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel, a US embassy official said on Sunday. 

It was not clear how much of the $10m was being redirected.

US officials also could not confirm whether the latest cut meant all non-military related aid to the Palestinians had now been eliminated.

“As announced in August, the administration redirected more than $200 million that was originally planned for programmes in the West Bank and Gaza,” a US embassy official said.

“At the same time, we redirected a portion of the $10 million which was planned for conflict management and mitigation.”

The official said the portion involving Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza would be used “to enhance” programmes in Israel instead.

The latest cuts come amid a raft of financial and diplomatic sanctions against the Palestinians for what the Trump administration describes as their reluctance to negotiate with Israel. 

Palestinians say the cuts are a form of blackmail aimed at pressuring them into accepting an unfavourable peace accord with Israel.

In recent months the US has shut down the Palestinian Liberation Organisation’s office in Washington, DC, cut economic aid to Palestinians in the occupied territories, and scrapped plans to finance hospitals in occupied East Jerusalem.

The US has also cut funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency, which supports Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

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