U.S. foreign aid payments for 2018
January 3, 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump has pledged to withhold aid payments to the West Bank and Gaza as well as foreign assistance to Pakistan. The U.S. had planned $890 million in aid to Palestinians in 2018.
The move follows Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December.
Trump tweeted that Washington gives Palestinians “HUNDRED (sic) OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect.”
The President’s tweets follow plans disclosed by his U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, to cut off payments to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNWRA), until the Palestinians “return to the negotiating table.”
UNRWA, which received $355.18 million from the U.S. in 2016, has been a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as well as Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Also, the U.S. gave $567.8 million to Gaza and the West Bank in 2016.
Trump also launched an attack on Pakistan, saying Islamabad was providing a “haven to the terrorists we hunt.” The Trump administration is reportedly considering withholding $255m in aid to Pakistan after Islamabad refused to allow the U.S. access since October to a captured militant from the Taliban-linked Haqqani network.