Trump threatens to freeze aid to Palestinians

Trump threatens to freeze aid to Palestinians

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.

"Trump will not vanquish us", Mustafa Barghouti, chairman of the Palestine National Initiative and a member of the Palestinian Central Council, said on Ashams Radio Wednesday, after the USA president threatened to cut off aid to Palestinians living under Israeli occupation and refugees in the diaspora.

"They don't even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel", he continued.

On Monday, the Israeli Knesset passed a bill which will make it more hard for the Israeli government to hand over parts of Jerusalem to Palestinians under any future peace deal.

This is all but a best-case scenario for Israel's far-right government, as they not only don't have to keep putting off Trump on the peace deal, but don't have to take the blame since Trump's decided it's all the Palestinians' doing.

"Swamy welcomed Trump's statement remarking that the latter presented facts in his accusation about receiving nothing in return from Pakistan for the aid provided to them". "The Palestinians now have to show their will that they want to come to the table".

Hanan Ashrawi's rebuke followed the United States president's tweet admitting that the Middle East peace process was in difficulty and warning Palestinians that they could lose U.S. aid worth more than $300m a year.

Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi responded with a statement Wednesday.

More news: Trump Declines to Deny That He's Racist When Asked at MLK Event

"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.

In a Tuesday tweet, Trump said the Palestinians are "no longer willing to talk peace".

The United States has long provided the Palestinian Authority with much-needed budgetary support and security assistance, as well as an additional $304 million for UN programs in the West Bank and Gaza. We're not giving the aid.

The office of Palestine's President Mahmoud Abbas rejected what the Palestinians called Trump's "blackmail" attempt, saying "Jerusalem is not for sale, neither for gold nor silver".

According to U.S. officials, only a relatively small amount of the more than $220 million that the USA was planning to send to the Palestinians in the current budget year actually goes to the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinians see east Jerusalem as their future capital.

The United States is the largest donor to UNRWA.

Speaking to CNN, Palestinian politician Mustafa Barghouti said that Trump is clearly biased against the PA and has taken Israel's side in the conflict.

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