The Trump administration late 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, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
“The 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.
“President 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.
“One 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 against Israel.”
“Hamas is fighting a morally-bankrupt war at the expense of the Palestinian people,” said the official. “Hamas’s corrupt and illegitimate control has provoked conflict and led to poverty and hopelessness, while hampering the ability of the international community to help.”
The administration’s decision is separate from Congress’ mandate in the Taylor Force Act, but the decision will work right along with it, the source said.
“Regarding 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 explained.
One former senior Trump administration official stated that the decision represents a step in the right direction to push the Palestinian government into genuine peace negotiations with Israel.