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Friday, February 01, 2019, 17:21
US official: USAID assistance in West Bank, Gaza has ceased
By Reuters
Friday, February 01, 2019, 17:21 By Reuters

Palestinians wait to board a bus to travel to Egypt through the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, on Jan 29, 2019. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)

JERUSALEM - The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has ended all assistance to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, a US official said Friday. 

All USAID assistance in the West Bank and Gaza has ceased

US official

The decision was linked to a Jan 31 deadline set by new US legislation under which foreign aid recipients would be more exposed to anti-terrorism lawsuits.

READ MORE: US won't pay US$45m pledged for Palestinian food aid for now 

The deadline also sees the end of some US$60 million in US aid for the Palestinian security forces, whose cooperation with Israeli forces helps maintain relative quiet in the West Bank. 

Congress' Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA) empowers Americans to sue foreign aid recipients in US courts over alleged complicity in "acts of war". The Palestinians have declined further US funding, worried about legal jeopardy. 

"At the request of the Palestinian Authority, we have wound down certain projects and programs funded with assistance under the authorities specified in ATCA in the West Bank and Gaza, a US official told Reuters on Friday. 

"All USAID assistance in the West Bank and Gaza has ceased." 

ALSO READ: US aid cuts hit Palestinians, further dimming hope for peace 

The official said no steps were being taken to close the USAID mission in the Palestinian territories, and no decision had been made about future staffing at the USAID mission in the US Embassy in Jerusalem. 



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