USAID contractor resigns over US policy on Gaza, report says

Alexander Smith's is latest in series of resignations from government agencies over US policy towards Israel

Pro-Palestine demonstrators near the Capitol building in Washington, DC. Getty Images
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A contractor with the US Agency for International Development has reportedly resigned over Washington's Gaza policy.

Alexander Smith said he was given a choice between resignation and dismissal after preparing a presentation on maternal and child mortality among Palestinians, which was cancelled at the last minute by USAID leadership last week, The Guardian reported.

The senior adviser on gender, maternal and child health, and nutrition resigned on Monday after four years with the agency, highlighting in his resignation letter the inconsistencies in USAID’s approach to the conflict.

“I cannot do my job in an environment in which specific people cannot be acknowledged as fully human, or where gender and human rights principles apply to some, but not to others, depending on their race,” Mr Smith reportedly wrote.

He is the latest in a series of resignations from government agencies over the US policy on Gaza.

Stacy Gilbert, a career State Department official, resigned from her post this week, citing disagreements with a recently published government report that claimed Israel was not impeding humanitarian aid to the enclave, according to The Washington Post.

Ms Gilbert's resignation was preceded by that of Annelle Sheline, who told The National last month that she “didn't want to be associated with this government any more”.

This month, Maj Harrison Mann became the first known official with the Department of Defence to resign over Washington's Gaza policy.

He pointed to the government's “nearly unqualified support for the government of Israel, which has enabled and empowered the killing of tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians”.

Updated: May 30, 2024, 7:52 PM