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Palestinian fishermen return from fishing in Gaza City, Gaza. Photo: Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

After months of review by the State Department and the White House, President Trump has decided to cut $200 million in civilian aid to the Palestinian Authority and for projects in the West Bank and Gaza, the State Department said in a statement. 

Why it matters: The decision comes 9 months after President Trump's Jerusalem announcement, which prompted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to cut all ties with the White House. Those two developments created huge difficulties for the Trump administration to push forward with it's peace plan, which the White House is still debating when to launch. The aid cut also comes as Egypt and the U.N. are working on a stabilization deal for Gaza which will include a major push for humanitarian aid and reconstruction for the strip. 

The details: The statement said the funds will now address high-priority projects elsewhere, and explained, "This decision takes into account the challenges the international community faces in providing assistance in Gaza, where Hamas control endangers the lives of Gaza’s citizens and degrades an already dire humanitarian and economic situation."

State Department officials said the U.S. did provided a combined $61 million in funding for Palestinian security services in the West Bank. The officials added that providing assistance to the East Jerusalem Hospital Network is still under review, and a decision needs to be made soon about the funding to UNRWA.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).

4 hours ago - World

Scoop: Blinken protests Israel settlements approval in "tense" phone call

Benny Gantz (L) and Tony Blinken. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken protested the decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank during a tense phone call on Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time new construction in the settlements has been approved since President Biden assumed office, and the Biden administration had been privately pressing the Israeli government not to proceed.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.