Government Shutdown Jeopardizes Vital US Support for Palestinian Security Coordination with Israel

January 22, 2019

The news that the Palestinian Authority (PA) will soon stop accepting US funding for vital Palestinian security cooperation with Israel is deeply concerning and could be extremely damaging to Israel’s security. The decision by the PA comes in response to unresolved complications resulting from the “Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act” (ATCA) signed into law last year.

While congressional leaders have expressed a desire to resolve the issue and allow the security assistance to continue, President Trump’s ongoing, outrageous shutdown of the federal government has prevented lawmakers from taking the necessary action. The shutdown, which has already harmed thousands of federal workers and impacted millions of other Americans, is now jeopardizing a vital component of Israeli security.

The Trump administration’s shameful cuts of virtually all US aid to the Palestinian people has already helped to further destabilize the region and benefit extremists. An end to security assistance funding will make the situation even worse. Senior IDF officials, including outgoing Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, have repeatedly stressed that security coordination between Israel and the PA helps maintain stability and prevent terror attacks in the West Bank.

This crisis is just one of hundreds of reasons why President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should end this shutdown and re-open the federal government. Once the shutdown is ended, they should work with Congress to immediately fix the problems resulting from the ATCA. In the meantime, we urge Israeli and Palestinian officials to continue their security cooperation, even in the absence of US funding. Any breakdown in this cooperation could have dangerous consequences for both peoples.