Published: Sat, January 06, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Palestinians blast Trump's threat to withhold aid

Palestinians blast Trump's threat to withhold aid

After Trump announced last month that he was recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and planned to move the US embassy there, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that the ceremony "represents a declaration that the United States has withdrawn from playing the role it has played in the past decades in sponsoring the peace process". "They don't even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel", Trump said on Twitter.

The poll also revealed that a smaller majority, 59 percent, of Jewish Israelis believes that Trump understands Israel's real interests (versus 37 percent who thinks he does not).

"We will not be blackmailed", said Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi, Reuters reported.

The Palestinians want east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.

Only 6 percent of Palestinian citizens thought similarly.

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Earlier the U.S. announced its plan to cut funding to various UN bodies for an alleged anti-Israeli bias and said it would cut aid to nations, which voted for a non-binding UN Assembly resolution, which condemned USA recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital.

'We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect, ' Trump tweeted.

Trump has, in the past, voiced support in principle for legislation that would substantially cut United States aid to the PA if it continues its practice of paying the families of terrorists who kill Israelis.

Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said Tuesday the United States will stop contributing to a U.N. agency that gives humanitarian aid to Palestinians.

USA ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to reporters at United Nations headquarters, January 2, 2018 in New York City.

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"Haley responded to a question regarding whether the USA would continue to fund the agency in light of the Palestinians' threat to "unleash all the weapons we have in the UN", by saying, "[President Trump] doesn't want to give any additional funding, or stop funding, until the Palestinians agree to come back to the negotiation table, and what we saw with the [UN Jerusalem] resolution was not helpful to the situation". "We're trying to move for a peace process but if that doesn't happen the president is not going to continue to fund that situation".

UNRWA, which receives around $300 million annually from the USA, for years has been the lifeline to hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Trump recently took Israel's side by formally declaring Jerusalem their capital. Trump's Mideast peace team had held meetings with Israeli, Palestinian and Arab leaders for almost a year ahead of an expected peace proposal.

The United States is the largest donor to UNRWA.

The new law states that parts of Jerusalem can only be relinquished in a future peace deal if a supermajority of the Knesset, Israel's legislature, approves of the decision.

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