Former US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro responded on Twitter by raising the question whether the Palestinian Authority will continue to accept US assistance for their security forces “if it is the only stream of US funding.” That, he said, “would layer another security risk on top of the ones associated with economic instability.”
Another example of the end of the two state solution.— Dave Harden (@Dave_Harden) January 17, 2019
Robert Satloff, Executive Director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said that if news about ending of the USAID projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were accurate, it would be difficult to understand the logic behind it. “None of this ‘pressures’ [PA President Mahmoud] Abbas since he is indifferent and not in control of the funding,” Satloff said in response to Harden’s statement. “It only raises further hardship on ordinary Palestinians for no appreciable gain (and further loss of US goodwill). [This is a] brilliant preparation for a US peace plan.”USAID did not immediately respond to a Post request for a comment. The Post has learned that several foreign nationals who were assigned to various USAID projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have left the country in recent weeks and months together with their families after being informed of the decision to end the projects they were working on at the end of this month.In August 2018, US President Donald Trump’s administration notified Congress of its decision to cut more than $200 million in bilateral aid to the Palestinians, following a review of the funding for projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. "At the direction of President Trump, we have undertaken a review of US assistance to the Palestinian Authority and in the West Bank and Gaza to ensure these funds are spent in accordance with US national interests and provide value to the U.S. taxpayer," the State Department said. "As a result of that review, at the direction of the president, we will redirect more than $200 million ... originally planned for programs in the West Bank and Gaza."
If accurate, an unbelievably short-sighted move. It cuts off programs that have improved econ &security conditions for Pals & Israelis. It breaks up a highly experienced professional team. And we'll just have to rebuild the mission all over again in the next Admin, at great cost. https://t.co/np8WyB3emz— Dan Shapiro (@DanielBShapiro) January 17, 2019