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Washington - Trump State Dept. Budget Gives Palestinians Slight Increase Amid Major Cuts Elsewhere

Published on: April 25, 2017 11:28 AM
By: JTA
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A Palestinian protester takes cover during clashes with Israeli troops at a protest in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah April 23, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamad A Palestinian protester takes cover during clashes with Israeli troops at a protest in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah April 23, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamad

Washington - Assistance to the Palestinians is one of the few areas that will remain untouched in planned massive cuts at the Trump administration’s State Department.

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Foreign Policy magazine on Monday posted  15 pages of proposed cuts it obtained as part of the Trump administration’s plan to roll the U.S. Agency for International Development into the State Department. The vast majority of aid programs are to be cut and some are to be eliminated.

Aid to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, however, will increase slightly, from $205.5 million to $215 million.

It’s not clear why the Palestinians benefit, but Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s envoy to the region, has made economic stimulus in the Palestinian areas a key component of efforts to create the climate for renewed peace talks.

Republicans in Congress want to cut aid to the Palestinian Authority because it continues to pay out compensation to the families of slain or jailed terrorists. The funds proposed by the State Department, however, could conceivably be earmarked for programs that bypass the Palestinian Authority. Overall, Palestinians receive about $500 million annually from the United States.

Egypt and Jordan both stand to lose economic assistance under the proposed cuts – Egypt’s funds would be slashed almost in half, and Jordan would lose a fifth. The economic aid is separate from the defense assistance to these countries, which is administered by the Pentagon. Both nations receive assistance as part of peace deals signed with Israel and brokered by the United States.

Israel has not received economic assistance since the 1990s, when both sides determined that it was no longer a developing nation.

The Trump administration earlier this year said it wanted to slash State Department funding overall by nearly a third, but did not offer details.

Congress is likely to resist the cuts. Key Republicans in both chambers have said that development aid is a key element of a preventative defense in keeping other countries stable.



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Read Comments (5)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Apr 25, 2017 at 11:41 AM grandbear Says:

Can anyone tell me what exactly is the state dept. It seems to operate independently of the national govt.It is and has been anti jewish since way before WW2. ,and does things detrimental to our elected reps.

2

 Apr 25, 2017 at 01:34 PM Anonymous Says:

Still trying to appease the terrorists in the hope it will make them start behaving. You can't feed the beast, you must destroy it!

3

 Apr 25, 2017 at 02:46 PM triumphinwhitehouse Says:

we don't need a state dept, at all its just a bunch of appartchiks, Trump is the best.

4

 Apr 25, 2017 at 03:19 PM TRumpIzPrez Says:

Reply to #3  
triumphinwhitehouse Says:

we don't need a state dept, at all its just a bunch of appartchiks, Trump is the best.

Defense Secretary General Mad Dog Mattis said:

* That diplomacy prevents war.

* If you cut the State Department, I will need more ammunition.

To give Trump the benefit of doubt, he said the generals of the U.S. military were “embarrassing” to America, and he knows more than the Generals.

But the article is misleading. Trump is proposing the budget (and the increases to the terrorist 'Palestinians'!)... not the State Department.

5

 Apr 25, 2017 at 05:40 PM qazxc Says:

More money for Bais Arafat and less money for the only two countries that signed peace treaties with Israel.

So sad. So very, very sad.

6

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