Washington, Sep 9 (AP/UNB) — The Trump administration said Saturday that it is cutting $25 million meant for East Jerusalem hospitals and putting the money toward "high-priority projects elsewhere."
The move follows the State Department's late August announcement that the administration is slashing more than $200 million in bilateral aid to the Palestinians following a review that President Donald Trump ordered to ensure the spending was aligned with U.S. national interests.
The Palestinians had held out hope that the hospital money would be spared because it was not included in the previously announced cut. On Saturday, the Palestinian Authority denounced the administration's move as "an act of political blackmail."
The State Department said the review was intended to make sure the American aid was "being spent in accordance with U.S. national interests and were providing value to the U.S. taxpayer." The administration "will be redirecting approximately $25 million originally planned for the East Jerusalem Hospital Network. Those funds will go to high-priority projects elsewhere," the department added. It did not identify the projects.
In response, Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi accused the administration of threatening to cause "serious instability and grave harm" to thousands of patients and their families across the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and jeopardize the livelihood of thousands of workers in the Palestinian health care sector.
"Such an act of political blackmail goes against the norms of human decency and morality," Ashrawi said in a statement. "Politics should not trump humanity or harm a vulnerable people in need of support and protection."
The administration announced the original cut in U.S. aid to Palestinians as Trump and his Middle East advisers prepared to release the U.S. peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians. But Trump angered the Palestinians earlier this year by moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which led the Palestinians to break off contact with the U.S.
Kushtia, Sept 8 (UNB) – Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif on Saturday said BNP founder Ziaur Rahman induced ‘the politics of murder and killing’ in the country and his party has been carrying out the inheritance of it.
“Being an isolated party, BNP is now making topsy-turvy statements,” he said while exchanging views with party leaders and activists at his residence in the town.
“AL never involved in confrontational politics but BNP did,” said Hanif.
BNP men had planned to kill Sheikh Hasina by launching grenade attack on August 21, 2014, and failed, he said.
Talking to the reporters about Khaleda’s jailing, the AL leader said it is Khaleda Zia who brought the court to the jail by refusing to face the prosecution in the name of illness.
“Saying that she won’t come to the court, the BNP leader proved that she had embezzled the orphans’ money,” Hanif claimed.
President of the district Jubo League Rabiul Islam, Kushtia Model Police Station Officer-in-charge Nasir Uddin, among others, were present.
Dhaka, Sept 8 (UNB) - BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Saturday said their party is ready to make any sacrifice to forge a greater unity soon with other political parties to ‘restore’ democracy.
“We need to keep it in mind that a greater unity will not be created if we don’t make some sacrifices. Now we all must reach a united position making sacrifices, and we’re trying to do that,” he said.
Speaking at a views-exchange meeting, the BNP leader said the people of the entire country want a greater unity. “I believe the national unity will be forged very soon to restore democracy and free our leader (Khaleda) though united efforts against the autocratic regime.”
Jatiyatabadi Muktijoddha Dal arranged the programme on the current political situation at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office.
Fakhrul said they will defeat the current ‘monstrous’ government through forging the unity with other political parties.
Mentioning that their party chairperson Khaleda Zia had called for a national unity before going to jail, he said, “As per her direction, we’re in discussions with other political organisations to create the national unity. The process is on, and we hope we’ll come out successful,” he observed.
The BNP leader again opposed the shifting of the makeshift court to Old Dhaka Central Jail from Bakshi Bazar Alia Madrasa ground to hold the trial of Zia Charitable Trust graft case against Khaleda, saying it is an unconstitutional and inhuman move of the government. “The trial can’t be held in a small room in jail. It’s nothing but a camera trial.”
He urged the government to free their chairperson and allow her to receive treatment in any specialised hospital as she is very sick.
Fakhrul alleged that the government is filing many false cases across the country without any incident only to suppress BNP leaders and activists in a bid to hang onto power.
“The government has created a hell-like situation across the country by filing false cases. The country is now under the grip of a dangerous devil. We’ll have to defeat it with our strength together with people,” he told his party colleagues. .
The BNP leader said the government has got ‘crazy’ sensing its imminent fall. “This government won’t be able to cling to power as people are not with it. People have no confidence in it. So, our victory is certain.”
Mentioning that the country is going through a serious crisis, Fakhrul called upon the freedom fighters to get united to save the nation and establish people’s lost rights.
Dhaka, Sept 8 (UNB) – Jatiya Party will hold a public rally at Suhrawardy Udyan on October 6 to announce its pre-election programmes, aiming to return to power to build ‘New Bangladesh’.
Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad came up with the announcement while speaking at Jatiya Party’s joint meeting on the premises of the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh.
“We’ll hold the rally with lakhs of people (on Oct 6). We’ve gained enough strength and we’re ready to go to power. We no longer want to remain as an opposition party, we want to stand on our own feet,” he said.
Ershad, a former military ruler, asked his party leaders and activists to make their party stronger further by its new committees in their respective areas ahead of the election.
Mentioning that people love Jatiya Party, he said his party will free the country from terrorism, killing, enforced disappearance, anarchy, corruption and violence by going to power. “We’ll build New Bangladesh where there’ll be harmony and peace, restoring the law and order.”
The Jatiya Party chief also said it has proved that only his party can ensure good governance in the country.
Speaking at the programme, Leader of the Opposition in Parliament and Jatiya Party senior co-chairman Raushon Ershad said their party will free the country from terrorism and ensure people’s welfare and jobs for youths by assuming power through the next polls.
Party senior leaders, including presidium members, also addressed the programme with the participation of several thousand leaders and activists.
Dhaka, Sept 8 (UNB) - Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader on Saturday shrugged off BNP's threat to wage a movement, saying that the party has no capability to do that in the future.
Terming BNP a ‘dead river’, the senior AL leader said there will be no high tide in it.
He came up with the remarks while addressing a rally at Santahar Railway Station in Bogura in the afternoon.
“If BNP in any way returns to power, they would flow a river of blood in the country. To keep up the development pace, we’ve to vote for Boat to strengthen the hands of Sheikh Hasina,” he said.
Referring to the grassroots leaders, he said, “Nominations won’t be given by seeing pictures and billboards. Only those will get nominations who will work for the country and people.”
Addressing another gathering at Muladuli Railway Station in Pabna around 1 pm, Obaidul said, “Failed to launch any movement, BNP is now planning to carry out acts of sabotage and arson attacks.”
“They (BNP) always want to make the country unstable. After losing public support, they’re now planning to destabilise the country,” he added.
Earlier, addressing a rally at Natore Railway Station the minister said: "How will BNP wage a movement within two months as it couldn't do it over the last 10 years?"
The AL leader also turned down BNP leaders' assertion that the ruling party's votes have declined. "It didn't happen due to Sheikh Hasina's positive politics."
Rather, Quader said, the votes of BNP have dropped for its negative politics.
Later, he addressed a rally organised by Awami League Natore district unit.
Earlier in the morning, an Awami League delegation, led by party general secretary, Obaidul Quader, left Kamalapur Railway Station in the capital for Nilphamari by a train aiming to carry out electioneering in northern districts.
They are supposed to hold more than 11 rallies at railway stations in Tangail, Pabna, Natore, Bogura, Joyurhat, Dinajpur and Nilphamari districts, said AL Rajshahi unit organising secretary Khaled Mahmud Chowdhury.
Talking to reporters at the Kamalapur Railway Station before his departure, Quader said the aim of the train journey is to reach the message of development works carried out by the AL government to the grassroots level and strengthen the party.
The organisational activities of the party will play an important role in making the grassroots aware about the 'rumour politics' of BNP and Jamaat, he said.
The delegation members include AL joint secretary Jahangir Kabir Nanak, publicity and publication secretary Dr Hasan Mahmud, organising secretaries Ahmad Hossain, Abu Sayed AL Mahmud Swapan, Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, cultural secretary Ashim Kumar Ukil and Biplob Barua.
Quader, also the Road, Transport and Bridges Minister said, "This journey is our election journey. The tour will continue. We'll launch election campaign on September 13. Then, it's scheduled to start our campaign to Chattogram, Mymensingh and Kishoreganj by road."
He said, "The upcoming election will be a competitive one and we've to take preparations considering this. If there's any internal dispute, we've to solve that. This campaign is to revitalise the grassroots leaders."
Railways Minister Mujibul Haque was present at the station to see the team off.
Meanwhile, speaking at a rally at Tangail railway station, Quader urged Awami League grassroots leaders not to create any indiscipline and chaos in the party.
He also said action against those violating party discipline has started. "Show-cause notices will be served within three days."
Issuing a note of warning to party local leaders, he said, "Don't try to build too many houses in one house...Sheikh Hasina's action is direct action."
About the demand of local leaders and general people, he said a train service will be launched on Dhaka-Tangail route soon for the office-going people.