Trump threatens to cut off US aid to Palestinian Authority

Acknowledging his push to broker peace within the Middle East has stalled, President Donald Trump on Tuesday appeared to threaten to cut off U.S. aid money to the Palestinian Authority, asking why the U.S. should make “any of these massive future payments” when the Palestinians are “no longer willing to talk peace.”

Trump, in a pair of tweets, said the U.S. pays “the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year as well as get no appreciation or respect.”

“They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue … peace treaty with Israel,” he wrote.

Trump infuriated Palestinians as well as Muslims across the Middle East when he announced late last year of which the U.S. would certainly consider Jerusalem the capital of Israel as well as move its embassy there, upending decades of U.S. policy as well as igniting protests.

While the Palestinians haven’t closed the door to a potential deal with Israel, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said the announcement had destroyed Trump’s credibility as a Mideast peace broker, calling the decision “a declaration of withdrawal by the role the item has played within the peace process.”

Tuesday’s tweets mark a tacit admission by Trump of which his decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel by Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has thrown a wrench into his administration’s plans to restart the peace process between Israelis as well as Palestinians, which he had dubbed “the ultimate deal.”

Trump tasked son-in-law Jared Kushner to restart the effort, as well as brought his former attorney, Jason Greenblatt, into the White House to lead the negotiations. Trump’s Mideast peace team had held meetings with Israeli, Palestinian as well as Arab leaders for nearly a year ahead of an expected peace proposal.

however by recognizing Israel’s claim to Jerusalem, Trump was seen by the Palestinians as siding with Israel on the most sensitive issue within the conflict. The Palestinians seek east Jerusalem — which Israel captured in 1967 — for their capital.

Trump said his decision merely recognized the reality of which Jerusalem already serves as Israel’s capital as well as wasn’t meant to prejudge the final borders of the city.

In his tweets, Trump argued his decision had taken “Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, however Israel, for of which, would certainly have had to pay more.”

When Trump declared Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital, he insisted, counterintuitively, of which the move would certainly improve, not hurt, prospects for clinching a peace deal.

within the days after the decision, Trump administration officials said the strategy was based on the notion of which Israel had lost faith within the U.S. as a committed partner during the Obama administration. With trust in Washington restored, Netanyahu’s government would certainly be more inclined going forward to make tough concessions of which would certainly ultimately be needed for a peace deal, the U.S. officials argued at the time, as well as Israeli officials quietly indicated of which they could potentially do so.

No one spelled out, however, what the Palestinians would certainly receive in return.

Trump on Tuesday also issued a threat to cut off foreign aid dollars to an unspecified list of countries of which don’t reciprocate.

“the item’s not only Pakistan of which we pay billions of dollars to for nothing, however also many various other countries, as well as others,” Trump wrote, appearing to reference a Jan. 1 tweet lambasting Pakistan for failing to do enough to combat terror groups while taking U.S. aid. “No more!” Trump had tweeted Monday.

Trump’s language marks a striking departure by decades of bipartisan American practice as well as reflects Trump’s transactional view of global affairs. U.S. leaders of both parties have long utilized foreign assistance dollars — a minor percentage of the overall budget — to promote American interests abroad, alleviate humanitarian crises as well as support oppressed peoples.

Trump’s envoy to the United Nations, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, foreshadowed Trump’s warning earlier Tuesday at the U.N. Security Council. Haley said the president doesn’t want to give more funds “until the Palestinians are willing to come back to the negotiation table.”

“We still very much want to have a peace process. Nothing alterations with of which. The Palestinians currently have to show they want to come to the table,” Haley said. “As of currently, they’re not coming to the table, however they ask for aid. We’re not giving the aid. We’re going to make sure of which they come to the table.”

Since a Dec. 21 U.N. vote condemning Trump’s Jerusalem decision, U.S. officials have been weighing various options for retaliating against the Palestinians for pushing the resolution, which passed by a 128-9 margin.

Those options, which were to be discussed by Trump’s top national security aides at a meeting next week, included several involving cutting off some or all aid to the Palestinian Authority. Another option would certainly cut funding to the U.N. agency of which provides services to the Palestinians in places like Gaza, Jordan as well as Lebanon.

The talks are in their very early stages, with no determination yet of a fixed amount or percentage of assistance to be cut, according to officials familiar with the discussions.

However, the officials noted of which only a relatively smaller amount of the more than $220 million of which the U.S. was planning on sending to the Palestinians within the current budget year actually goes to the Palestinian Authority. Most of of which assistance flows to non-governmental groups of which are involved in building civic organizations of which promote Great governance, anti-corruption efforts, as well as health as well as education projects.

The officials said one possibility would certainly be to redirect aid by the Palestinian Authority to those groups. Similar proposals were envisioned for the U.N. relief agency for Palestinians, the officials said, noting of which Palestinian children in Gaza, Jordan as well as Lebanon would certainly be disproportionally affected by an immediate as well as complete cut-off.

Chris Gunness, a spokesperson for the U.N. Relief as well as Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees within the Near East, said the item had not been informed of any alterations to U.S. funding at of which time.

One basket of money of which is actually unlikely to be affected is actually security assistance of which helps the Palestinian Authority coordinate police cooperation with Israel, the officials said. They spoke on conditions of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about internal deliberations.

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