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US to halt funding for Israel projects in occupied Palestinian, Syria territories

June 26, 2023 at 2:33 pm

United States Senator Ted Cruz delivers remarks during the Republican Jewish Coalition Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States on November 19, 2022 [Kyle Mazza – Anadolu Agency]

The United States informed Israel yesterday it will halt all funding towards scientific and technological research cooperation projects taking place in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Syrian Golan Heights.

The decision reverses a policy imposed by the Trump administration in 2020 that enabled US taxpayer funding to be used for science and technology projects in the settlements for the first time since 1967.

The White House indicated that such cooperation was “incompatible with the foreign policy of the United States.”

According to the Jerusalem Post, an unnamed US State Department spokesperson said: “This guidance is simply reflective of the longstanding US position, reaffirmed by this Administration, that the ultimate disposition of the geographic areas which came under the administration of Israel after June 5, 1967 is a final status matter and that we are working towards a negotiated two-state solution in which Israel lives in peace and security alongside a viable Palestinian state.”

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He added, “This is essentially reverting through US policy to longstanding pre-2020 geographic limitations on US support for the activities of the binational foundations.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen slammed the move as “wrong”. He said: “I object to the decision and think it is wrong. In similar cases in the past, the Israeli government fully reimbursed parties damaged by such decisions.”

While US Senator Ted Cruz accused the Biden administration of “undermining and discrimination against Israel.”

Under the administration of former US President Donald Trump, Washington moved away from the two-state solution and sided with Israel in a more obvious manner. It also recognised Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel and moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city. It also recognised Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan Heights and softened its stance on illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, abandoning its four-decade long position that the settlements were “inconsistent with international law.”

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