PA cabinet leader: God help us if Trump wins

Mohammad Shtayyeh says a Trump victory in the US presidential elections will be disastrous.

Elad Benari ,

Mohammad Shtayyeh
Mohammad Shtayyeh

Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet leader Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Tuesday that a Donald Trump victory in the upcoming presidential elections in the United States will be disastrous for his people and the world at large.

Speaking at a meeting with European legislators and quoted by Al Jazeera, Shtayyeh said the last four years of the Trump administration have greatly harmed the Palestinians.

“If we are going to live another four years with President Trump, God help us, God help you and God help the whole world,” he said.

“If things are going to change in the United States, I think this will reflect itself directly on the Palestinian-Israeli relationship,” Shtayyeh continued, referring to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden winning the November 3 election. “And it will reflect itself also on the bilateral Palestinian-American relationship.”

While Palestinian Arabs have traditionally refrained from taking an explicit public position in US presidential elections, the PA’s relationship with the Trump administration has been strenuous.

PA leaders have rejected President Trump's peace proposal outright, and dismiss the idea that his administration could mediate impartially on this issue.

The PA has been boycotting the administration since 2017, when Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The PA demands that eastern Jerusalem be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

In August of 2018, Trump's administration decided to completely halt its funding for the UN agency for “Palestinian refugees” (UNRWA), which had previously stood at around $350 million a year.

Later, it announced it would cut $25 million more in direct aid to six hospitals that primarily serve Palestinian Arabs in Jerusalem.

In another move, Washington cut aid to the PA for programs supporting conflict resolution with Israelis.