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Palestinians say won't be 'blackmailed' after Trump threat

Middle East News
Thu, 04 Jan 2018
GDN Online Desk


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.

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