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Fatah spokesman: Trump and Netanyahu are starving the children of Palestine due to monetary cuts; Fatah ready "prepared to stand firm and express with all force" their positions

Headline: “Al-Qawasmi: Trump and Netanyahu have decided to starve the children of Palestine in order to break the political willpower”

“The Fatah Movement said that [US President Donald] Trump and [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu have decided to starve the children of Palestine and impose a comprehensive financial siege in order to break the political willpower and obtain concessions regarding our Palestinian people’s rights.

Fatah emphasized in a statement published by [Fatah] Revolutionary Council member and [Fatah] Spokesperson Osama Al-Qawasmi that our people’s rights, and primarily Jerusalem and the refugees’ cause, are not up for bargaining or concession in the [Fatah] Movement’s lexicon, and we are prepared to stand firm and express with all force the position of the men that remain loyal to Jerusalem, the land, the Martyrs (Shahids) who are more precious than all of us, and the heroic prisoners.

Al-Qawasmi said that our people… will not agree to exchange its rights for dollars, regardless of how much the pressures will increase at all levels, and that [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas – and Fatah behind him – and the sweeping patriotic majority of our great people are prepared to resist and defend our people’s rights, whatever the cost.

Al-Qawasmi added that Trump and Netanyahu are directly responsible for starving the children of Palestine and for the shortage of medicine in the hospitals, following Trump’s consecutive decisions to stop all aid to our people and to UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East; see note below –Ed.), and also following Netanyahu’s decision to steal $150 million from the money and livelihood of our people (referring to implementation of the Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct terror salaries; see note below –Ed.).”

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.

Israel's Anti "Pay-for-Slay" Law - Israeli law stating that the PA payments to terrorists and the families of dead terrorists is a financial incentive to terror. The law instructs the state to deduct and freeze the amount of money the PA pays in salaries to imprisoned terrorists and families of "Martyrs" from the tax money Israel collects for the PA. Should the PA stop these payments for a full year, the Israeli government would have the option of giving all or part of the frozen money to the PA. The law was enacted by the Israeli Parliament on July 2, 2018. During the parliamentary vote, the law's sponsor Avi Dichter said: “The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee received much help in its deliberations... from Palestinian Media Watch who provided us with authentic data that enabled productive and professional deliberations, nuances that are very difficult to achieve without precise data.” [Israeli Parliament website, July 2, 2018] In accordance with the law, as of September 2021 Israel’s Security Cabinet had ordered the freeze of 1.857 billion shekels ($580.15 million) - the sum equivalent to the PA payments to terrorists in 2018, 2019, and 2020.