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PA sends letter to Trump administration rejecting US security aid

Official PA TV News, on the PA refusing US aid due to new US law

Official PA TV newsreader: "PLO Executive Committee Secretary [and Fatah Central Committee member] Saeb Erekat said that on orders from [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, [PA] Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah sent a letter to the American administration in which he demanded that it stop the security aid, if the law called the 'anti-terror' law (i.e., the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act of 2018; see note below) is implemented. In an interview on the [official] PA TV program Topic of the Day, Erekat said that the American administration officially received the letter four days ago [Jan. 16, 2019], but until now no response to the letter has been received from America.”
Official PA TV reporter: “At a time when the American administration is acting in Congress to implement the law called 'the terror law,' which gives it the right to submit lawsuits against states that receive aid from it, the [PA] leadership sent a sharp letter to the White House administration on the orders of President Mahmoud Abbas, in which it emphasized its relinquishment of Washington's security aid if this law is implemented."

(An excerpt of an interview with PLO Executive Committee Secretary and Fatah Central Committee member Saeb Erekat on PA TV program
Topic of the Day on Jan. 19, 2019 is played –Ed.)

PLO Executive Committee Secretary and Fatah Central Committee member Saeb Erekat: "Official Palestinian action has been taken in response to this law. And I can say that on orders from His Honor President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister brother Dr. Rami Hamdallah sent a letter to the American administration in which he said: 'As long as you implement this law, called “the anti-terrorism act” – in other words, a law against terror – which enables you to submit lawsuits against states that receive aid from you, we do not want to receive any aid.' He was talking about part of the security aid, and the prime minister asked to end it in an official letter sent three days ago."

Newsreader: "The Palestinian leadership's relinquishment of the American security aid – after the US stopped transferring its financial commitments to our people last year (refers to US cutting its aid to UNRWA; see note below –Ed.) – fits into the political trend according to which the [Palestinian] leadership is working to eliminate the American plans that attack our national rights, and in order to defend our people and our national institutions from what is called 'the anti-terrorism act,' which gives a green light to submitting lawsuits that will serve to impose sanctions on our people and to extort its leadership."

Saeb Erekat also holds the position of PLO Chief Negotiator.

Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act of 2018 - Among other things, this law gives US courts the jurisdiction to seize assets from any body that receives foreign aid from the US government, viewing their acceptance of US foreign aid as consent to US jurisdiction. This enables past and present victims of terror to successfully pursue lawsuits in US courts against such bodies that were connected in any way to the acts of terror. In the past many such cases have been thrown out due to lack of US jurisdiction.

US President Donald Trump's administration announced on Aug. 31, 2018 that it was immediately cutting all $360 million of annual American funding to UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East). Explaining the decision, the US State Department said, "The fundamental business model and fiscal practices that have marked UNRWA for years – tied to UNRWA’s endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries – is simply unsustainable and has been in crisis mode for many years. The United States will no longer commit further funding to this irredeemably flawed operation." The move came after the US froze two planned payments to UNRWA in early January 2018 for more than $100 million, and the US administration spoke about the need to reexamine and conduct a reform of the UN body. This occurred after the PA refused to negotiate with Israel and cut diplomatic ties with America following US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Dec. 6, 2017.