US funding for PA’s security services ends due to possible terror victims’ lawsuits
The Palestinian Authority officially announced it would not receive the US funding meant for the PA’s security services.
The US has provided more than $850 million to support the PA’s security forces since 2007 when it ramped up assistance after Hamas terror group seized Gaza.
The $60 million in annual aid will be terminated over concerns it could increase the PA’s exposure to US anti-terrorism lawsuits amid the 2018 US anti-terrorism law ATCA, which comes into force on February 1.
The Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act, which was signed into law by President Donald Trump back in October and recently approved by the US Congress, would enable American authorities to seize assets from any foreign “terror entity” that receives financial aid from the US government.
Under the new law, the PA faces potential lawsuits from families of US victims of past terror attacks.
The PA security services will still be able to carry out their essential duties, including arrests and maintaining order. They will also be able to operate against Hamas in Judea and Samaria.
Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said that while the system is imperfect and subject to mistrust, it is still valuable to all sides.
“We think it is valuable to have cooperation, to have a dialogue, to share information,” Danon said, adding that Israel has also shared information about Hamas threats against Abbas’s government.
“But with the Palestinians it’s tricky because you never know if they are fully committed to fight those radicals,” he added.