Palestinians say Jerusalem "not for sale" after Trump threatens to cut aid

06 January, 2018, 01:08 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
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Trump added more fuel to the fire on Twitter by saying that the United States pays "hundreds of millions dollars a year" to the Palestinians and that Jerusalem, "the toughest part of the negotiation", is "off the table".

Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's executive committee, said Palestinians would "not be blackmailed" and that Mr Trump had "sabotaged our search for peace, freedom and justice".

Abbas showed his true attitude about peace with Israel long ago.

The move follows Trump's controversial decision in December to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, provoking unrest and triggering clashes in the Gaza Strip. "With the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace", he added, "why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?"

"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", Haley emphasized, without clarifying whether the term "situation" referred specifically to UNRWA's operations.

Following the U.S. president's declaration on Jerusalem, Abbas said the USA had relinquished its traditional role as the mediator of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

'Now he dares to blame the Palestinians for the consequences of his own irresponsible actions!'

Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital last month, upending decades of U.S. policy that had long avoided prejudging future negotiations over the city and prompting the Palestinians to declare that the administration no longer had a role to play in the peace talks.

"We're not giving the aid, we're going to make sure they come to the table and we want to move forward with the peace process".

"What was winked and nodded about before is now being acknowledged publicly: 'We have no intent of sharing this land with anybody else except as a barely tolerated minority, '" Daniel Seidemann, director of Terrestrial Jerusalem, which focuses on Jerusalem's fate in a potential two-state solution, told the New York Times.

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The United States now gives the PA some $600 million in annual aid.

The US provided $260m (£192m) of bilateral aid for Palestinians in 2016. But Palestinian intransigence was now preventing any progress on peace talks, he said. The White House has not yet taken a firm position on that bill - called the Taylor Force Act - and said it would monitor the legislation as it works its way through Congress.

"The president has basically said that he doesn't want to give any additional funding, or stop funding, until the Palestinians are agreeing to come back to the negotiation table".

The US is the donor, providing nearly $370 million (£270m) in 2016.

Herzog said he believes that Abbas was afraid of receiving a United States proposal or peace plan that he could not accept but also did not want to have to say no to it.

Haley made her remarks against the backdrop of an announcement in December that the USA recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital and plans to move its embassy there, which was met by a United Nations resolution condemning the move.

Trump's recent decision to declare Jerusalem as Israel's capital has emboldened Israel's leadership to take dramatic measures to safeguard their claims to land in Jerusalem.

Some Israeli politicians on the right welcomed the fact that Trump had clearly blamed the Palestinians for the stalled peace process, and they even praised the idea of reducing financial support.

The status of Jerusalem goes to the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.



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