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Trump threatens to cut aid to Palestinians

Top News2018-01-03

US President Donald Trump threatened in tweets on Tuesday that the US may stop aid to Palestinians, saying they were no longer willing to negotiate a peace deal. The president said the US paid “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.” He added: “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's tweets came after his UN ambassador Nikki Haley disclosed earlier Tuesday that Washington plans to stop funding a United Nations agency that provides humanitarian aid to Palestinian refugees. "The President has basically said he doesn’t want to give any additional funding, or stop funding, until the Palestinians agree to come back to the negotiation table,” Ambassador Nikki Haley told reporters when asked about future US funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees. The US is the largest donor to the agency, with a pledge of nearly 370 million US dollars as of 2016, according to the UNRWA’s website. Relations between the US and Palestine have been tense since Trump announced last month that the US would consider Jerusalem the capital of Israel, a decision that aroused anger across the Arab world. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said the announcement destroyed Trump’s credibility as a Middle East peace broker, calling it “a declaration of withdrawal from the role it has played in the peace process.” "The Palestinians now have to show to the world that they want to come to the table,” Haley said. "As of now, they’re not coming to the table but they asked for aid. We’re not giving the aid, we’re going to make sure that they come to the table and we want to move forward with the peace process." On Tuesday, the Israeli Parliament passed an amendment that would make it harder for the country to cede control over parts of Jerusalem in any peace deal with the Palestinians. (CGTN & REUTERS)

US President Donald Trump threatened in tweets on Tuesday that the US may stop aid to Palestinians, saying they were no longer willing to negotiate a peace deal.

The president said the US paid “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.”

He added: “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's tweets came after his UN ambassador Nikki Haley disclosed earlier Tuesday that Washington plans to stop funding a United Nations agency that provides humanitarian aid to Palestinian refugees.

"The President has basically said he doesn’t want to give any additional funding, or stop funding, until the Palestinians agree to come back to the negotiation table,” Ambassador Nikki Haley told reporters when asked about future US funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees.

The US is the largest donor to the agency, with a pledge of nearly 370 million US dollars as of 2016, according to the UNRWA’s website.

Relations between the US and Palestine have been tense since Trump announced last month that the US would consider Jerusalem the capital of Israel, a decision that aroused anger across the Arab world.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said the announcement destroyed Trump’s credibility as a Middle East peace broker, calling it “a declaration of withdrawal from the role it has played in the peace process.”

"The Palestinians now have to show to the world that they want to come to the table,” Haley said. "As of now, they’re not coming to the table but they asked for aid. We’re not giving the aid, we’re going to make sure that they come to the table and we want to move forward with the peace process."

On Tuesday, the Israeli Parliament passed an amendment that would make it harder for the country to cede control over parts of Jerusalem in any peace deal with the Palestinians.

(CGTN & REUTERS)

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