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Trump budget holds Palestinian aid hostage to progress on peace plan

The Donald Trump administration is doubling down on its bid to cut Palestinian aid by tying it to congressional funding for the president’s Middle East peace plan.
U.S. President Donald Trump makes remarks during the White House Business Session with the nation's governors in the State Dining Room of the White House, Washington, DC, U.S., February 10, 2020.            REUTERS/Mike Theiler - RC2TXE9F4HJ0

The Donald Trump administration is using Palestinian security aid as leverage in a gambit to convince Congress to fund its recently unveiled Middle East peace plan.

The State Department’s 2021 budget request, released today, would zero out all aid for the West Bank and Gaza for the first time since President Trump took office. Trump first eliminated Palestinian economic and humanitarian aid in 2018, but the 2021 budget request would condition the remaining security assistance on $200 million in funding for his Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative, dubbed the Diplomatic Progress Fund.

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