Dr. Saeb Erekat on the Decision of the Trump Administration to Terminate all USAID Projects and Staff Contracts in Palestine

Press Releases
February 02, 2019

Hundreds of Palestinians will be losing their jobs as a result of the U.S. decision to terminate all USAID projects in Palestine. An additional step in a series of punitive and unethical measures, carried out by the Trump Administration, against the people of Palestine to pressure its leadership to compromise on our inalienable right to self-determination.   

We recognize and appreciate the contribution of the American people, as well as the work of USAID and its role in advancing development and stability in Palestine throughout the past years. However, we reject the current misguided U.S. policy that pressure on the Palestinian leadership, and taking revenge against the Palestinian staff working for USAID, will force us to compromise on our national and fundamental human rights, on Jerusalem and the rights of Palestinian refugees.  

Over the years, USAID-funded projects attracted hundreds if not thousands of high-skilled Palestinian employees in a host of professional fields, including health, education,  and infrastructure. Many of them have served and contributed to many projects in occupied Palestine and throughout the Middle East.  Some have been working with USAID and the U.S. Consulate General for over two decades and have a rich reservoir of experience. Today they all are undergoing tremendous hardship, and we will do everything possible for them to continue serving our nation. 

We, therefore, call upon various segments of the Palestinian economy, factories, industries, banks, and community organizations, to do everything they can to create new jobs that can benefit from their tremendous technical experience.  We have confidence in our government, the private sector, and community organizations that they will not abandon our daughters and sons at such a critical stage in their careers.

The people of Palestine have been dehumanized, demonized, and terrorized for over half a century.  Israel has been confiscating our lands for its illegal settlement construction, ripping us of our rights, and denying our very existence in our homeland. Nevertheless, we will remain a proud and defiant nation, and we will continue to believe in the justice of our cause and in our right to live in freedom, peace, and dignity.

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