Trump’s Dangerous Closing of USAID in West Bank and Gaza Will Exacerbate Suffering, Obstruct Diplomacy

November 26, 2018

In response to the announcement that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will let go of half of its employees in the West Bank and Gaza and shut down operations in the Palestinian territories by early 2019, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami released the following statement:

“The Trump administration has worked systematically to destroy the US relationship with the Palestinians and to close off every point of contact with the Palestinian people. Ending humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, and now fully closing down the operations of USAID in the West Bank and Gaza, is a cruel and dangerous act designed to promote the hardline agenda of the Israeli Right. These steps appear tailor-made to exacerbate suffering, destroy trust and obstruct the pursuit of peace.

Destroying American influence and credibility with the Palestinians, the Trump administration has deliberately chosen to undermine moderate PA leaders. Their actions are playing directly into the hands violent extremists like Hamas, undermining Israel’s security. Any so-called ‘peace plan’ that the administration puts forward in the wake of these moves will be an absolute sham.”

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