Trump threatens to cut off US aid to Palestinians

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President Trump on Tuesday lashed out at the Palestinians and suggested that the U.S. could withhold aid money for them amid anger over Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“It’s not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing, but also many other countries, and others. As an example, we pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel,” Trump wrote in a pair of tweets.

“We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more. But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”


Trump announced last month that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and would begin preparations to move its embassy to the city. 

The decision ignited backlash across the Arab and Muslim worlds, with many leaders warning that the move would undermine stability in the region.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said last month that the U.S. had effectively disqualified itself as a broker of peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Trump’s suggestion to cut off aid to the Palestinians came hours after U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that the Trump administration could cut off funding to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, which is charged with helping Palestinian refugees, unless they “return to the negotiating table” with Israel.

The U.N. General Assembly voted last month to rebuke Trump’s Jerusalem decision, voting 128-9 on a resolution calling on the U.S. to reverse the move. Thirty-five countries abstained from that vote.

The resolution is not legally binding but exerts international pressure on the Trump administration to reconsider the Jerusalem move, which reversed decades of U.S. policy in the region.

Jerusalem is revered by Muslims, Christians and Jews, and the U.S. has long avoided taking a stance on the city’s status in order to preserve the possibility of peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. Israel considers Jerusalem its capital, and its government is based in the city. The Palestinians, however, have long aspired to establish the city’s eastern sector as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

This story was updated at 6:19 P.M. EST.

Tags Donald Trump Donald Trump Jerusalem Nikki Haley Palestine United States foreign aid
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