Trump threatens to cut USA aid to Palestine


The latest in a series of threats to cut foreign aid around the world, President Trump has issued a statement today complaining the Palestinians don't show him "appreciation or respect" for the hundreds of millions of dollars the U.S. has given them.

Trump also tweeted that his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital takes the issue "off the table" in peace negotiations, echoing words first uttered by his envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, shortly after the decision was first announced.

Before Trump's Tuesday night tweets, Haley announced that the US could cut off funding to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, which provides aid to Palestinian refugees, unless they "return to the negotiating table" with Israel.

Mr Trump's blunt comments represented a tougher tone toward the Palestinians than he has generally taken, suggesting that he is moving toward pressuring them to come to the table by threatening punishment rather than enticing them with promises of a deal that would benefit them.

"Swamy welcomed Trump's statement remarking that the latter presented facts in his accusation about receiving nothing in return from Pakistan for the aid provided to them".

The peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians are going nowhere, President Trump reiterated on Twitter Tuesday night. It is not obvious whether the US will seek to defund UNRWA in its entirety or just withdraw contributions from Washington until, as Nikki Haley has said, the Palestinians "return to the negotiating table" with Israel.

Hanan Ashrawi's rebuke followed the U.S. president's tweet admitting that the Middle East peace process was in difficulty and warning Palestinians that they could lose usa aid worth more than $300m a year.

PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi described Trump's tweet as "blackmail".

"And what we saw with the resolution was not helpful to the situation", she added.

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In a Tuesday tweet, Trump said the Palestinians are "no longer willing to talk peace".

US President Donald Trump has indirectly hinted at stopping financial assistance to Palestine for their unwillingness to negotiate peace with Israel.

The US gave $357m to the Palestinian Authority in 2016, according to The Times of Israel.

Since a December 21 United Nations vote condemning Trump's Jerusalem decision, American officials have been weighing various options for retaliating against the Palestinians for pushing the resolution, which passed by a 128-9 margin. While Israel sees Jerusalem as its undivided capital, Palestinians also claim east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. At least 13 Palestinians were killed during clashes with Israeli security forces, according to the Palestinian media.The decision was also overwhelmingly condemned at the United Nations, where 128 countries voted against Trump's fulfilment of a campaign promise.

Mahmoud Abbas's spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdeneh, said "if the United States is keen on its interests in the Middle East, it must implement the global resolutions which call for a state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital".

According to a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, since the mid-1990s, the United States government has committed more than Dollars 5 billion in bilateral economic and non-lethal security assistance to the Palestinians.

Palestinians slammed the announcement, with President Mahmoud Abbas' office declaring that Jerusalem was "not for sale".

"The United States remains deeply committed to helping facilitate a peace agreement that is acceptable to both sides".