No previous US administration has been as aggressive as Trump's in trying to kill any hope of Palestinian statehood. Here are 10 actions the current administration has taken.
US rhetoric against Palestinians has increased significantly since President Donald Trump took office on January 20, 2017.
Since then a number of decisions have been adopted by his administration that pose a real threat to Palestinian aspirations of having an independent state with East Jerusalem as their capital.
Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
On December 6, 2017 US President Donald Trump officially announced his administration's recognition of occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This decision reversed more than 70 years of official US policy, thereby significantly ramping up regional tensions.
Freezing US aid to the UNRWA
Earlier this year, on January 16, 2018, Washington began cutting aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), freezing some $300 million of its $365 million in aid.
Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem
The decision to cut aid to UNRWA was quickly followed by officially moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested city of Jerusalem on May 14, 2018.
Cutting all financial aid to the UNRWA
On August 31, 2018, months after the decision to freeze aid to the Palestinians, the US administration decided to cut all its financial aid to the UNRWA. The United States had previously warned that it would "not bear the bulk of this burden alone," believing that it had allegedly contributed over and above its fair share.
Stopping all US aid to Palestinians
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami al Hamdallah, on September 2, 2018, told a news conference in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah that the US administration decided to stop all of its aid to the Palestinians.
This includes "direct assistance to the treasury, which comes in favour of infrastructure projects and development projects," Hamdallah added.
Ending aid to Eastern Jerusalem hospitals:
This was followed on September 7, 2018 by the US State Department announcing that it had stopped providing $25 million in aid to Palestinian hospitals in occupied East Jerusalem.
Hospitals operating in East Jerusalem provide medical services to Palestinian residents of the West Bank – including East Jerusalem – and the Gaza Strip.
Closing the PLO office in Washington, DC
On September 10, 2018, the Executive Secretary of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Saeb Erekat, announced that the US administration had officially informed them of its decision to close the PLO’s office in Washington.
Deduction of $10 million from funding youth programs
The US assistant secretary announced on September 15, 2018, that Washington would stop funding $10 million worth of programs that aimed to foster inter-ethnic understanding between young Palestinians and Israelis.
Expulsion of the Palestinian ambassador from Washington
Lastly, on September 16, 2018, the US administration decided to expel the Palestinian ambassador, Hossam Zamelat, and his family. The Executive Committee of the PLO said the decision to cancel the residency also included members of the family of the ambassador, including his children.