Palestinian leaders have accused the Trump administration of punishing them with one hand and offering to reward them with the other, as protesters turned out in the West Bank and Gaza to demonstrate against a US economic peace plan.
At a US-led conference in Bahrain, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner urged Palestinian leaders boycotting the event to think outside the “traditional box” and consider the $US50 billion ($A72 billion) plan to boost the Palestinian and neighbouring economies.
The event drew fiery criticism both within the Palestinian territories, where demonstrations broke out for a second day on Wednesday, and across the wider region, where many Arabs took aim at officials for taking part.
Palestinian officials said it was Trump who had inflicted further hardship on Palestinians, cutting hundreds of millions in aid to humanitarian organisations across the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza.
“If the US is so concerned about Palestinian wellbeing, then why did they carry out these punitive measures against us?” senior Palestine Liberation Organisation official Hanan Ashrawi said in Ramallah.
“Why did they target Palestinian infrastructure? Why did they stop scholarships to Palestinian students?” she asked.
In August last year, Washington announced an end to all US funding for the UN agency that assists Palestinian refugees. The US was UNRWA’s biggest donor by far up to that point, giving it $US364 million in 2017.