Published: Tue, January 16, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Palestinian leader calls Donald Trump's peace efforts 'slap of the century'

Palestinian leader calls Donald Trump's peace efforts 'slap of the century'

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday blamed Israel for ruining the ongoing Oslo Accords and said President Donald Trump's handling of the peace talks was a "slap in the face" to Palestinians.

Hamas said on Saturday that it would not participate in a meeting of Palestinian leaders to debate responses to the controversial US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a state they seek to establish in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

He added that "the meeting will be held without a specific agenda, which strengthened the conviction by the movement's leadership that no concrete decisions will be taken".

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Trump says "we refused negotiations". "There is nothing more important than Jerusalem".

Palestinian officials have said they will not meet U.S. Vice President Mike Pence when he visits Egypt, Jordan and Israel this month.

Losing significant funding from its largest donor, the United States, could be "catastrophic" for Palestinians, said a UN agency that provides aid to Palestinian refugees.

The administration is reviewing a proposal to send less than half of a planned $125 million payment and demand that other countries pay more, according to two people familiar with the deliberations. Kushner oversees Trump's peace efforts in the region.

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A State Department official later said that no decision had been made on payment.

While Trump's threat to cut the United Nations funding is popular in Israel, government security officials have warned that cutting back the assistance that goes for food, education and health care could fuel violence and strengthen radical Palestinian forces in the West Bank.

The Hamas statement said this left the Islamic movement subject to the "pressures" of Israel, which occupies the West Bank and regularly arrests Hamas officials.

The Israeli military said it fired at rioters who "put our forces in danger".

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"Abbas's rambling speech was also noteworthy for what was not there - namely, any real vision for moving beyond the failed US-led Oslo paradigm". Hamas didn't participate in Abbas's meeting in Ramallah.

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