United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday said his government will stop sending financial aid to Palestine for not agreeing to negotiate peace with Israel.
His comments, made on Twitter, was a follow-up to his remarks on Pakistan a day earlier, when he said Islamabad had given the US only “lies and deceit” in exchange for billions of dollars in aid.
On Tuesday, Trump said the US had received “no appreciation or respect” from Palestine in return for its financial help. “We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect,” he tweeted. “They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel.”
Trump believes that his government’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel took “the toughest part of the negotiation off the table”. “But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?” he said.
The Jerusalem row
Israel considers Jerusalem an indivisible Capital and wants all embassies based there. Palestinians want the Capital of an independent Palestinian state to be East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 war and annexed.
On December 6, Trump formally had recognised Jerusalem as the Israeli Capital, calling it “a long overdue step to advance the peace process”. He also said the US will shift its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
On December 21, India and 127 other members of the 193-strong United Nations General Assembly had voted in favour of a resolution that asked the US to withdraw its decision to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli Capital – despite threats from Trump that the US will withhold billions of dollars in aid from countries that vote against it.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas had said Trump’s announcement destroyed his credibility as a peace broker, AP reported.