The US has added action to its clear opposition to the Palestinian bid for UN membership by effectively suspending the financial assistance it had allocated to the Palestinian Authority (PA).
In August, the US Congress froze PA-bound assistance worth USD 200 million as the authority was preparing to present the UN with a request for full membership in the world body.
On Monday, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) told Hassan Abu Libdeh, the acting PA economics minister, that the agency had stopped contributing to two projects respectively worth USD 55 and 26 million, the Associated Press reported.
He said one of the projects sought to develop the Palestinian private sector, while the other was aimed at improvement of the investment environment.
The official said 50 people involved had already been dismissed and another 200 were to be dispensed with by November.
Acting PA Authority Chief, Mahmoud Abbas, submitted the plea for the UN’s recognition of an independent Palestinian state to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, in late September.
Prior to the initiative, the US President Barack Obama had tried to dissuade Abbas from taking the measure.
Washington has also warned it would veto the statehood bid, should it be put to vote at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).