UNRWA says it received no official US notice on aid cuts


The Trump administration wants to cut funding to a United Nations agency aiding millions of Palestinian refugees to coerce Palestine into talks with Israel, Russian Today reported.

But Palestinian leadership asked the United Nations to take over peace talks after Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, saying the USA was too biased. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas claimed that Trump's recognition of Jerusalem, which both Israelis and Palestinians claim as their capital, discredited the U.S. as an honest broker in the peace process.

In his tweet on Tuesday, Trump said: "We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect". President Mahmoud Abbas has vehemently objected to Trump's decision on Jerusalem and said his government would not accept any US peace plan with Israel. "But then he recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, taking the single-most important part of negotiations and a two-state solution off the table", Shaath said.

Donald Trump has provoked fury by threatening to withhold aid payments to the Palestinian Authority over stalled Israeli peace talks.

President Donald Trump threatened to cut aid to Palestinians, drawing a rebuke from a Palestinian official that they would not be blackmailed.

"We will not be blackmailed", said Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi, Reuters reported.

"The Palestinians now have to show to the world that they want to come to the table".

The new law states that parts of Jerusalem can only be relinquished in a future peace deal if a supermajority of the Knesset, Israel's legislature, approves of the decision. "(Mr Trump) is saying the time has come to stop saying flattering words (to the Palestinians)". The president accused Pakistani leaders of giving "safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help".

But Trump just termed this lack of trust as Palestinian opposition to engage in peace negotiations.

The Jerusalem decision must be reversed or risk "chaos", Cavusoglu warned. "We are going to make sure they are coming to the table and we want to move forward with the peace process".

The Netanyahu government is celebrating Trump's recent declaration and threats against the Palestinians as victories, but Jerusalem should wait before opening the champagne. Trump floated the idea of cutting aid to U.N. nations that voted for the resolution, but the General Assembly overwhelmingly approved it, 128 to 9, with 35 nations abstaining.

Many believe the legislation is yet another act of further provocation by the Jewish state since it consolidates Israel's illegal military occupation in the embattled city, thereby endangering any remaining chances of peace negotiations.