Palestinians are outraged by the US President Donald Trump’s decisionto cut $20 million from financial aid to Palestinian Jerusalem hospitals. The US decision to cut $20 million from occupied East Jerusalem hospitals has been criticized by many, including PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, who declared: “Such an act of political blackmail goes against the norms of human decency and morality”. Dr. Ashrawi went further to say that “By cutting vital funds to hospitals in East Jerusalem, which include the Augusta Victoria Hospital and the St. John’s Ophthalmic Hospital, the United States administration is threatening to cause serious instability and grave harm to thousands of Palestinian patients and their families from across the West Bank and Gaza Strip and hurting the livelihood of thousands of workers in the Palestinian health care sector in the occupied city. Such an act of political blackmail goes against the norms of human decency and morality. Politics should not trump humanity or harm a vulnerable people in need of support and protection. The US is undermining the global rule of law and its standing, credibility, security, and interests around the world by supporting disastrous and irresponsible policies, including: defunding UNRWA and redefining the status of Palestinian refugees, recognizing occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, relocating the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, refusing to refer to the 1967 borders and the two-state solution, and refraining from addressing the illegality of settlements. Backed by the American moves, Israel will further enforce and enable Israel to push its agenda to occupy Jerusalem and the Palestinian people as a whole with full impunity. The single most sensible solution for both factions involved is ceasing the military occupation and allowing the Palestinian people to regain sovereignty and control over their own land and resources. With this, Palestine would be able to build a thriving economy and sustain itself without assistance or interference from other nations. The decision to create the state of Israel on the Palestinian territory was imposed upon the Palestinian people by the international community and it came at a price – modern-day enslavement and deprivation. Therefore, it only makes sense that the international community assumes their legal and human responsibilities and holds Israel accountable before the requirements for a just peace and stability are destroyed indefinitely.”
The Trump Administration was extremely misguided for cutting more than $20 million in aid to the historical hospitals of East Jerusalem, as these are the main healthcare providers for Palestinian citizens in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. President Trump claims that he cut the aid towards the Palestinians “until they reach a peace deal”; this obviously shows yet again how the Trump administration is basically using blackmailing techniques to target the healthcare services provided to Palestinian citizens, which will have devastating effects in the long-term. PMO Spokesperson Ahmad Shami said “This is not a formula of peace-building, this is a complete inhumane and immoral action that adopts the Israeli right-wing narrative to target and punish Palestinian citizens to compromise their rights to independence that is granted by the International Law and UN resolutions like any other nation in the world,” Shami continued with a plea: “We call upon the international community and moral countries that understand that freedom and dignity of nations are priceless to encounter Trump’s decision by leading campaigns to fund Jerusalem hospitals to sustain health care services to our unprivileged citizens”.