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January 20, 2019 1:07 pm

Report: In Letter to Pompeo, Palestinian Authority Forgoes All US Aid, Fearing New Anti-Terror Law

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

US President Donald Trump with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, May 23, 2017. Photo: Shealah Craighead/White House.

The Palestinian Authority has reportedly informed the United States government that it is waiving all American financial aid due to a recent anti-terror law that could open PA officials to lawsuits.

According to Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah informed the US of the decision in a letter sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in December. The letter directly connected the PA’s decision to the 2018 Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA), which would expand the jurisdiction of American anti-terror laws, giving victims of terrorism the ability to sue any entity responsible for providing funds for terrorist activity.

The law applies in particular to countries that receive aid from the US, making the PA vulnerable to potentially huge financial damages.

A number of lawsuits against the PA brought by terror victims and their families are currently pending. Damages have not been claimed so far because the US lacked jurisdiction over the PA. The ATCA is deliberately intended to change this.

According to Yediot, the withdrawal from receiving aid would likely have a significant impact on the Palestinian security services and their coordination with Israel, as much US aid to the Palestinians has already been cut. The primary remaining aid is for security, in the amount of $61 million annually.

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