Palestinian Territories: Palestinians Condemn US President's Threat To Cut Aid


The context for Trump's remarks was the administration's announcement earlier in the day that it was suspending $255 million in aid to Pakistan because of that government's alleged "double game" on terrorism.

Palestine also said it would be willing to negotiate with Israel but wanted the USA excluded from any talks as it would be impartial.

Palestinian officials are calling President Trump's threat to cut financial aid over failed peace talks 'blackmail'.

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called the Trump administration's decision on Jerusalem the "greatest crime" and a flagrant violation of worldwide law.

United States aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) now stands at about $300m a year.

In a statement Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization's Executive Committee, condemned Trump's decision last month to recognize Jerusalem as the "capital" of Israel and move the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has previously stated Palestine would only agree to peace if Israel agreed to a two-state solution with East Jerusalem as the capital for a future Palestinian state. "We're trying to move for a peace process, but if that doesn't happen, the president is not going to continue to fund that situation". The tweets also came after the White House confirmed that the United States plans to withhold some of its aid to Pakistan to pressure the country into better counterterrorism cooperation with the US.

For their part the Palestinians have said they no longer consider the USA a fair broker in peace talks because of the White House's stance on the holy city. "Palestinian officials and other critics warned Mr Trump's move squandered American credibility as a neutral mediator, undercutting the prospect of a peace settlement".

"Trump ruined our pursuit of peace, freedom and justice and now blames the Palestinians for the consequences of his reckless actions", she added. The president accused Pakistani leaders of giving "safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help".

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Trump now wants to cut funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) which has received over $5 billion in U.S. aid since 1994.

While East Jerusalem, including the historic Old City, has been under Israeli control since 1967, Palestinians view it as the capital of any future state.

The U.S. also gave the P.A. more than $54 million for security, and donated more than $355 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA). Here is the agency's 2016 top-20 donors list.

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