The Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw $200 million in US assistance to the West Bank and Gaza is incredibly irresponsible and deeply alarming. These funds were allocated by Congress to support economic, social, and medical projects that directly benefit the Palestinian people. Such programs were being touted as advancing US national interests by the Trump Administration only a year ago.

The effort to punish the Palestinians back to the negotiating table is wrongheaded and completely misguided. The Trump Administration risks worsening already dire conditions in Gaza and stoking rising tensions in the West Bank. By virtue of this unfortunate decision, the US is effectively gambling with Israeli-Palestinian relations, taking sweeping actions that could escalate the conflict without any credible strategy to calm the situation and return to the path of peacemaking.

Given the Trump Administration’s express desire to play a pivotal role in bringing peace between Israelis and Palestinians, the timing and substance of this move could not be worse. We strongly urge the administration to reconsider this reckless act.