Palestinians Fire Back at Trump's Threat to Cut Off Aid

Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas addresses the Palestinian leadership at the opening of a two-day conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah to discuss the future of the Palestinian Authority

"We are paying billions of dollars to various countries, not only to Pakistan, but also to other countries".

Palestinian authorities have reacted with outrage and accused Donald Trump of "blackmail" after the U.S. suggested it would temporarily stop funding humanitarian aid to Palestinian refugees.

Defying Trump's threat to cut off funding, the United Nations approved by a resounding vote on December 21 a motion rejecting his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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

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

The status of Jerusalem goes to the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the U.S. announcement on 6 December led to protests and clashes in the Gaza Strip.

Mr Trump's blunt comments represented a tougher tone toward the Palestinians than he has generally taken, suggesting that he is moving toward pressuring them to come to the table by threatening punishment rather than enticing them with promises of a deal that would benefit them.

Palestinian officials were dismayed by US President Donald Trump after he tore up decades of careful foreign policy last month and recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

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US President Donald Trump has indirectly hinted at stopping financial assistance to Palestine for their unwillingness to negotiate peace with Israel.

It was not immediately clear whether Trump was threatening all of the budget, worth $319 million in 2016, according to USA government figures.

Earlier US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley threatened to cut off funding to the UN's Palestinian refugee agency if Palestinians refused to engage in peace negotiations.

The US gives Israel annual military aid of $3.1bn. We're trying to move for a peace process. As of now they are not coming to the table but they ask for aid.

USA funding for the Palestinians is $260m, with an additional $50m used to support Palestinian security services, which cooperate with their Israeli counterparts.

Early Tuesday, the Israeli parliament voted to make it more hard for both sides to negotiate Jerusalem in any peace negotiations.

The spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the law is a "declaration of war on the Palestinian people", the Jerusalem Post reported.

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