The United States has cut additional aid to the Palestinians for programs supporting conflict resolution with Israeli regime, an official said Sunday, adding to more than $500 million in other cuts.
The latest cuts come as State Department revoked visas for the family of the ambassador of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Husam Zomlot.
The portion of the money involving Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip was being redirected to programs between Jewish and Arab Israelis, a US embassy official said.
It was not clear how much of the $10 million was being redirected.
“As announced in August, the administration redirected more than $200 million that was originally planned for programs in the West Bank and Gaza,” a US embassy official said.
“At the same time we redirected a portion of the $10 million which was planned for conflict management and mitigation.”
The official said the portion involving Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza would be used “to enhance” programs in the Zionist entity instead.
US President Donald Trump has said he will withhold aid from the Palestinians to “force” them to negotiate as the White House prepares a plan for the so-called “Middle East peace”.
Meanwhile on Sunday, the Palestinian envoy said that his wife and children must change their immigration status or become unwelcome in the US after the closure of organization’s Washington DC office next month.
According to ambassador Zomlot, the US State Department requested a meeting with embassy employees and informed them that the ambassador’s family visas will expire after the office is shut down next month.
The officials said that should the family members decide to stay in the country, they would need to change their immigration status. The visas were reportedly set to expire in 2020.
“This goes against diplomatic norms. Children, spouses and family have nothing to do with political rows,” Zomlot added, according to Reuters.