Trump threatens to cut off United States aid to Palestinians

06 January, 2018, 03:48 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Analysis US Threats to end Palestinian aid unlikely to revive peace talks

Washington was paying the Palestinian Authority hundreds of millions of dollars a year "for nothing", he wrote, complaining that the United States received "no appreciation or respect" in return.

"Now, he is threatening to starve Palestinian children in refugee camps and deny their natural rights to health and education if we don't endorse his terms and dictations", Erekat said, referring to Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. "They don't even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel", Trump said on Twitter.

Palestinians rely heavily on the $320 million in aid money they receive each year, which experts say helps bring some security to the volatile region.

The legislative move came as Trump threatened to take away hundreds of millions of dollars of aid payments to the Palestinians, on the grounds that they "are no longer willing to talk peace".

The remark was widely condemned by the Palestinian side, which is angry at the United States over Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Trump recently took Israel's side by formally declaring Jerusalem their capital.

Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi responded with a statement Wednesday.

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"President Trump has sabotaged our search for peace, freedom and justice".

"We are not against going back to negotiations, but (these should be) based on global laws and resolutions that have recognized an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital", Abu Rudeineh said.

'Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the state of Palestine and it is not for sale for gold or billions, ' Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP.

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. "But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?"

"We still very much want to have a peace process, nothing changes that", she said.

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.

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.

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