TEL AVIV – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ deputy in his ruling Fatah faction this week dismissed years of American aid amounting to several billion dollars with the declaration that the U.S. has never given anything of “substance” to the Palestinians and added that “nothing good will come from them.”
“Recently we were forced to review all of our relations with the American administrations in recent years, and not just the Trump administration. We assessed that nothing good will come from them for the Palestinian people and the nation, and this is completely clear,” said Aloul in an interview with the London-based Pan-Arab daily Al Quds Al Arabi published Saturday.
Seeking clarification, the interviewer asked whether this was Aloul’s personal assessment or that of the Palestinian leadership. Aloul answered that it was the latter.
“It is the assessment of the entire Palestinian leadership. If we review the relations with all of the American administrations, we see that they have not given the Palestinians anything of substance but rather worked in order to pull the rug out from under their feet by exerting pressures on them, and that with all their might they support [the Palestinians’] enemy that is occupying their lands,” Aloul said according to a translation of the interview published Wednesday by the Israeli watchdog Palestinian Media Watch.
President Donald Trump’s December recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel sparked outrage among the Palestinians, with Abbas severing ties with Washington and claiming that the U.S. could no longer be a viable broker in the peace process.
“Let them [the U.S.] not do us a favor by paying us money. … We do not want anyone to pay us,” Abbas said after Trump threatened in a tweet to cut aid. “May ruin come upon your house,” he continued, using a popular Arabic epithet to curse Trump.
Aloul was asked if, looking back, it would have been wiser to advise Abbas not to curse the president.
On the contrary, Aloul said, “maybe I would have recommended to him to use other stronger expressions. I don’t know why the expression is being focused upon. It expresses the feelings and level of disappointment.”
Since 1994, Washington has paid out more than $5.2 billion to Ramallah. Last year, $700 million was paid out to the Palestinians.
Aloul also said that the PA was not preventing “resistance or an intifada.” Fatah members, he said, were leading a “popular uprising” as part of Palestinian “strategy.” Last week’s meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Central Council, he said, “emphasized that it is necessary to encourage the popular resistance against the Israeli violations.”
“It is necessary to strengthen the popular resistance so the occupation will become expensive for Israel,” Aloul concluded.