President Donald Trump threatened to cut aid to Palestinians, drawing a rebuke from a Palestinian official that they would not be blackmailed.
“We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect,” Trump tweeted.
“With the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”
It was not immediately clear whether Trump was threatening all of the budget, worth $319 million in 2016, according to US government figures.
“We will not be blackmailed,” senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement Wednesday after Trump’s tweet.
“President Trump has sabotaged our search for peace, freedom and justice. Now he dares to blame the Palestinians for the consequences of his own irresponsible actions!”
The US has long provided the Palestinian Authority with budgetary support and security assistance, as well as an additional $304 million for the UN’s programs in the West Bank and Gaza.
Trump came to office boasting that he could achieve the “ultimate deal” that secures the so-called peace in the Middle East.
However, Trump’s actions, according to many commentators, are likely to cast that further in doubt, especially after the US President had recognized Al-Quds as the capital of the Zionist entity and ordered to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.