The vehicles were delivered to the Palestinian Authority as part of the U.S. security-related aid package
Angry Palestinians have accused their own government of “hypocrisy” over of a new batch of American-made jeeps recently delivered to the Palestinian Authority’s Police Department in Ramallah.
The jeeps came from the United States Consulate in Jerusalem despite the diplomatic boycott that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas imposed on American officials. The PA has been protesting the American move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital since last December—a move many Palestinians regard as “unfair” toward their cause.
The Media Line took to the streets of Ramallah to ask Palestinians how they feel about the brand-new American-made jeeps, part of the U.S. aid package to the PA.
One Palestinian, who spoke on condition of anonymity, expressed his disappointment with the Palestinian leadership. “We don’t trust them anymore. Their stated positions are different from their real ones,” he said.
“The PA announced a boycott on Israel too, but they [the Palestinian leadership] stated two days ago that they are considering breaking the boycott.” He added that he did not believe any Palestinian official, including the opposition political parties, “even Hamas; I don’t trust them; they are all corrupt.”
Rana, who asked that her last name be withheld, agreed that there was a clear contradiction in the official Palestinian position. She said it was “as if they [the Americans] are compensating us [Palestinians] with cars, and our government approves it.”
She added that it is totally unacceptable for the PA to accept “gifts” during a boycott of the American administration. “They must have a serious and solid position regarding relations with the Americans after what they did.”
Yet, she did regard accepting aid from the American administration, even after the embassy move, as a problem. “The U.S. is a great country and we can’t fight it. In the end, whatever we take and achieve from them [the Americans] is better than nothing, especially with Israel stealing our tax money.”
The American donation of the jeeps came as part of America’s “ongoing role to support the rule of law and civil defense programs in the West Bank.” The U.S. Consulate revealed the contents of its aid package on its official Facebook page, showing a picture of the new jeeps complete with the Palestinian Police logo and colors.
“Have you ever noticed the beautiful new Palestinian police cars in the West Bank?” the post asked. “We recently delivered 25 American-made Jeeps to the Palestinian Police Department in Ramallah.”
Hani Al-Masri, a Palestinian political analyst, told The Media Line that relations between the PA and the American administration have been tense except for security-related matters. He lamented that the American administration had ceased sending aid money except for funds allocated toward security projects and programs.
Masri agreed, however, that the PA should be forthright with its own people and reveal to them more details to avoid misunderstandings. “In general the PA displays very poor management of the different situations.”
He urged the PA to explain to the Palestinian public why it was maintaining an open channel of communication with the American administration.
When contacted by The Media Line, a spokesman for the Palestinian Police declined to comment on the issue, although he confirmed that the police department will be issuing a press release regarding the acquisition of the vehicles in a week.
Tensions have been high in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel late last year. The PA reacted with fury to the White House declaration and has repeatedly called for “days of rage” to protest the decision. Since then, clashes have erupted between Palestinians and Israeli security forces at checkpoints in the West Bank and along the Strip’s border with Israel, resulting in the deaths of over 100 Palestinians and many more wounded.