Ramallah, Jan 3: Palestinian leaders on Wednesday said that they will not surrender to ‘blackmailing’ by the United States President Donald Trump after he threatened to cut the annual aid of over $300 million. Notably, the relations between the Palestinians and Trump’s White House were already tense after the US president’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last month.
“We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday. “With the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?,” his post further read.
Palestine relies heavily on international aid which helps in its maintenance of stability and the United States has long provided the Palestinian Authority the budgetary support and security assistance.
Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina has been quoted as saying in an AFP report that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the state of Palestine and it is not for sale for gold or billions.
On the other hand, Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi was quoted as saying, “we will not be blackmailed”. She also accused Trump of sabotaging their search for peace, freedom and justice.
However, several Israeli ministers voiced support for Trump. Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev, from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, said that Palestine, on one hand, cannot receive $300 million in American aid per year and close the door on negotiations, at the same time.