Won’t be ‘blackmailed’ after Trump threat: Palestinians

Trump''s threat in a tweet yesterday to try to force the Palestinians into negotiations led to further outrage, though Israeli ministers lauded the move.

GKNN
Ramallah, (Palestinian Territories), Publish Date: Jan 4 2018 12:39AM | Updated Date: Jan 4 2018 12:39AM
Won’t be ‘blackmailed’ after Trump threat: PalestiniansFile Photo

Palestinian leaders said today they will not be "blackmailed" after US President Donald Trump threatened to cut aid worth more than USD 300 million annually, his latest provocative move that could upturn years of careful diplomacy.

Trump's threat in a tweet yesterday to try to force the Palestinians into negotiations led to further outrage, though Israeli ministers lauded the move.

"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 USD 319 million in 2016, according to US government figures.

Abbas's spokesman said they were not against negotiations, but that talks should be "based on international laws and resolutions that have recognised an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital".

Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement that "we will not be blackmailed". AGENCIES