Trump threatens to freeze aid to Palestinians

Trump threatens to freeze aid to Palestinians

Trump threatens to freeze aid to Palestinians

The threat comes on the same day that the US withheld $225 million in aid to Pakistan over terrorism concerns.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to cut off aid payments to Palestine if the country does not return to the negotiating table with Israel. "We are going to make sure they are coming to the table and we want to move forward with the peace process".

U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, seemed to hint at Trump's warning on Tuesday when she told the governing body that president doesn't want to give any more funds "until the Palestinians are willing to come back to the negotiation table".

Trump's action, which was predicated on a 1995 law, threw the US behind Israel's long-held claim that Jerusalem is its capital, despite the Palestinian claim on the eastern part of the city.

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Since 2008, an average of 100 million dollars a year has been allocated to the security services of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas.

Donald Trump further inflamed the Middle East yesterday after threatening to cut aid to "disrespectful" Palestine. The Palestinians previously said they rejected any USA role as a mediator in the Middle East in protest over Mr Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moving the U.S. embassy were both among Trump's campaign promises, and change decades of United States policy in the Middle East. We're trying to move for a peace process.

"We will not be blackmailed", Ashrawi said in a statement on Wednesday. "We can not talk about cutting humanitarian aid to Palestinian refugees in return for a political position under these pressures".

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"We are not taking a position on any of the final status issues including the final boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem", Trump said last month as he made his Jerusalem announcement.

Rebuffing the move, an extraordinary Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Istanbul declared East Jerusalem to be Palestine's capital.

Trump has said he wanted to broker a lasting peace between the parties, calling it "the ultimate deal".

Trump on Tuesday publicly questioned why the United States should provide the Palestinians with aid payments when they are "no longer willing to talk peace" with Israel.

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Israel Communications Minister Ayoub Kara hailed this new approach by Washington, tweeting that Trump had finally ripped of the "Palestinian mask of hypocrisy". Here is the agency's 2016 top-20 donors list.

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