Palestine President To Trump: "Jerusalem Is Not For Sale"
Palestinian president, Mahmud Abbas’s office says Jerusalem is “not for sale.”
This came after US President Donald Trump threatened to cut annual aid of more than $300m to force them to the negotiating table.
Palestinian leaders said Wednesday they will not be “blackmailed” after US President Donald Trump threatened to cut aid worth more than $300m annually, his latest provocative move that could upturn years of careful diplomacy.
Relations between Trump’s White House and the Palestinians were already tense after the US president’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last month.
The December 6, 2017 announcement concerning the disputed city led Palestinian president, Mahmud Abbas, to say the United States could no longer play any role in the Middle East peace process.
Trump’s threat in a tweet on Tuesday to try to force the Palestinians into negotiations led to further outrage, though Israeli ministers lauded the move.
The Palestinians rely heavily on international aid, with many analysts, including Israelis, saying such assistance helps maintain stability in a volatile region.
“We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect,” Trump tweeted.
“With the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”
It was not immediately clear whether Trump was threatening all of the budget, worth $319m in 2016, according to US government figures.
The United States has long provided the Palestinian Authority with much-needed budgetary support and security assistance, as well as an additional $304m for UN programmes in the West Bank and Gaza.
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