The Trump administration has decided to cut financial aid to Palestinian hospitals which treat cancer patients in occupied Jerusalem, Haaretz reported on Friday. The Israeli newspaper said that the hospitals would normally receive more than $20 million as part of the foreign aid budget approved by the US Congress. After President Donald Trump’s decision, though, they will not get anything at all.
According to a US State Department official on Thursday, this decision is part of the administration’s broader approach of cutting Palestinian aid and investing it in other priorities.
The budget cut could harm at least five hospitals in East Jerusalem, including Augusta Victoria Hospital and St. John Eye Hospital, which is the main provider of treatment for Palestinians in the occupied territories with eye problems.
Dave Harden, a former US official who was in charge of USAID in the West Bank, has warned that the aid cut could lead to the “collapse” of Augusta Victoria Hospital. He noted that hospitals in East Jerusalem serve not only the city’s Palestinians, but also those from Gaza and the West Bank, including cancer patients and children.