Two senior Palestinian officials responded on Wednesday to US President Donald Trump’s decision to cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority if it does not return to the negotiating table. “President Trump has sabotaged our search for peace, freedom and justice,” one of them said. “Now he dares to blame the Palestinians for the consequences of his own irresponsible actions.”
Trump and PA leader Abbas Photo Credit: STR/Flash90
Senior Palestinian officials responded to US President Donald Trump’s threat that he plans to withhold aid to the Palestinian Authority if it continues to refuse to sit down with Israel in an attempt to reach a peace agreement.
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. Barghouti added that Washington is no longer part of the peace process due to Trump’s position toward Israel. He also said that the PA can survive without the aid from Washington.
#Palestinian people will not sell their country or their capital #Jerusalem for some mollions of American dollars. The Aid that president #Trump wants to cut is mainly benefiting #Israel because it funds their security needs and their #occupation of #Palestine.
— Dr.Mustafa Barghouti (@MustafaBarghoti) January 3, 2018
PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi joined Barghouti in responding to Trump’s latest tweet about the PA. Ashrawi said that the Palestinians “will not be blackmailed.”
“President Trump has sabotaged our search for peace, freedom and justice,” Ashrawi said on Wednesday, according to the PA’s official media outlet Wafa. “Now he dares to blame the Palestinians for the consequences of his own irresponsible actions.”
As reported previously by JOL, Trump threatened last night over Twitter to cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority due to its refusal to return to the negotiating table with Israel. “We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel,” Trump wrote.
Trump then made an apparent reference to his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital: “We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more. But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”
Trump’s tweets about the PA came just a few hours after Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said that unless the Palestinians resume negotiations with Israel, the funding from Washington for the United Nations’ Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) will stop. “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 negotiating table,” Haley said. “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.”