In a show of support for Israel the United States has announced a staggering cut of $80 million worth of aid to Palestinians, following the latest spate of violence.
The US State Department has notified lawmakers of its plans to reduce economic aid for the West Bank and Gaza Strip from $370 million to $290 at the end of September.
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The 22-percent cut for the 2015 fiscal year came after US Congress sent a letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, telling him that the US funds were contingent on tamping down “incitement.”
On Thursday, the US House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously called on Palestinians to “end incitement against Israel.”
“This wave of violence isn’t some random flare-up,” said Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the committee. “It’s the product of years and years of anti-Israel propaganda and indoctrination — some of which has been actively promoted by Palestinian Authority officials and institutions.”
The latest wave of Israeli-Palestinian clashes began when Tel Aviv restricted the entry of some Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque on August 26.
The surge in tensions, triggered by Israeli raids on the al-Aqsa Mosque in East al-Quds (East Jerusalem), as well as increasing violence by Israeli settlers, has seen some 54 Palestinians killed and hundreds more injured since October 1. Eight Israelis have also died in the same time period.
Palestinians are also angry at increasing violence by Israeli settlers. The recent clashes were exacerbated by settler violence.
On Saturday, US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Abbas in the Jordanian capital of Amman following talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Berlin.
Kerry said, “It is absolutely critical to end all incitement, to end all violence and to find a road forward to build the possibility, which is not there today, for a larger process.”