Ramallah: Palestinian leaders yesterday said they will not be “blackmailed” after US President Donald Trump threatened to cut aid worth more than $300 million annually.
Relations between Trump’s White House and the Palestinians were already tense after the US president’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last month.
The December 6 announcement concerning the disputed city led Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas to say the US could no longer play any role in the Middle East peace process.
Trump’s threat in a tweet to try to force the Palestinians into negotiations caused further outrage.
It was not immediately clear whether Trump was threatening all of the budget, worth $319m in 2016, according to US government figures. The US has long provided the Palestinian Authority with much-needed budgetary support and security assistance, as well as an additional $304m for UN programmes in the West Bank and Gaza.