PLO Ambassador calls US aid cuts ‘political blackmail’

Ramallah/PNN/

A top PLO official criticised the White House’s decision to cut $200 million of aid to Palestine, describing it as “political blackmail”.

This administration is dismantling decades of US vision and engagement in Palestine,” Husam Zomlot, head of PLO General Delegation to the US, said in a statement.

He described it as “another confirmation of abandoning the two-state solution and fully embracing Netanyahu’s anti-peace agenda,” following US President Donald Trump’s appointment of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Zomlot also referenced Trump’s earlier decision to cut funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), a human development agency that supports Palestinian refugees, at a reported total of around $300 million.

The decision to cut aid funding was announced on Friday by a senior State Department official, who said it was made “at the direction of the president”.

Earlier this week President Trump told a crowd in West Virginia that Palestine would “get something very good”, after the embassy move, “because it’s there turn next.”

“Weaponizing humanitarian and developmental aid as political blackmail does not work,” Zomlot said. “Only a recommitment from this administration to the long-held US policy of achieving peace through the two-state solution on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem the capital of the state of Palestine and respecting international resolutions and law will provide a way forward.”

Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO’s Executive Committee, echoed Zomlot’s statement, accusing the US of “cheap blackmail.”