Classifieds | Archives | Jobs | About TGT | Contact | Subscribe
 | 
Last updated 1 hour, 29 minutes ago
Printer Friendly Version | TGT@Twitter | RSS Feed |
HOME LOCAL MIDEAST ASIA WORLD BUSINESS SPORT OPINION WRITERS
Trump threatens to cut aid to Palestinians
January 03, 2018
 Print    Send to Friend

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump admitted the Middle East peace process was in difficulty on Tuesday and threatened to cut US aid to Palestinians, currently worth more than $300 million a year.

“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.

The US has long provided the Palestinian Authority with much-needed budgetary support and security assistance, as well as an additional $304 million for the UN’s programs in the West Bank and Gaza.

Unless Trump follows through on his customary tough talk, the message is likely to be seen as primarily political.

Trump came to office boasting that he could achieve the “ultimate deal” that secures peace in the Middle East, something that has eluded presidents since the late 1960s.

For most the last half century the United States has been seen as an indispensable — if sometimes imperfect — arbiter of the peace process.

Trump’s actions are likely to cast that further in doubt.

He has heaped pressure on Palestinians to do a deal by threatening to close the de facto “embassy” in Washington, recognizing Israel’s contested claim on Jerusalem and now threatening aid.


Efforts to harness improved Arab-Israeli relations to push a peace deal have been at least temporarily derailed by his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, breaking with decades of American policy.

The decision sparked almost universal diplomatic condemnation and deadly protests in the Palestinian territories.

It also prompted Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas — 82-years-old and facing the prospect of entering the history books as the leader who “lost Jerusalem” — to cancel a planned meeting with Vice President Mike Pence.

Christian and Muslim leaders in Egypt took similar steps.

New Israeli law 

Pence was forced to delay his December visit to the Middle East until later this month, and aides were on Tuesday forced to reject rumors of further delays.

“As we’ve said all along, the Vice President is going to the Middle East in January,” said Pence spokeswoman Alyssa Farah. “We’re finalizing details and will announce specifics of the full trip in the coming days.”

In another blow to remaining hopes for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel’s parliament on Tuesday gave final approval to legislation aimed at making it more difficult for the government to hand the Palestinians parts of Jerusalem under any future peace agreement.

Legislators approved the measure 64 to 51.

The new law determines that any ceding of lands considered by Israel to be part of Jerusalem would necessitate a two-thirds majority vote in parliament — 80 out of 120 members of the Knesset.

It also enables changing the municipal definition of Jerusalem, which means that sectors of the city “could be declared separate entities,” a statement from parliament read.

Israeli right-wing politicians have spoken of unilaterally breaking off overwhelmingly Palestinian areas of the city in a bid to increase its Jewish majority.

Israel occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967. It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognized by the international community.

It claims all of Jerusalem as its united capital, while the Palestinians see the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.

The issue is among the most contentious in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Agence France-Presse

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Comments
 
Post a comment
 
Name:
Country:
City:
Email:
Comment:
 
    
    
Other Latest News
Target, Macy’s, Kohl’s dangle discounts, gift cards for seasonal worker
Chicago: Retailers won’t just be battling each other for customers this holiday season — they’re also gearing up to fight over the temporary workers who will make the sal..
Demilitarised zone buys more time for talks but does not eliminate risk of deadly assault: Experts
DAMASCUS: A Russia-Turkey deal for a “demilitarised zone” in Syria’s flashpoint region of Idlib buys more time for talks, analysts said on Tuesday while warning it does n..
Rising flood waters from Florence menace Carolinas
WILMINGTON/FAYETTEVILLE: Rising flood waters threatened communities across the Carolinas on Tuesday as storm Florence hit the US Northeast with heavy rains and tornadoes ..
Trump defends Supreme court nominee Kavanaugh
WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump sided with his embattled Supreme Court nominee, defending Judge Brett Kavanaugh against allegations of sexual assault as the White Hous..
Strawberry saboteur evades Australia police
SYDNEY: Australian police said on Tuesday they are investigating reports of dozens of cases of needles embedded in strawberries and other fruits, and warned that those re..
FRONTPAGE
 
GALLERY
 
PANORAMA
 
TIME OUT
 
SPORT
 
 
Advertise | Copyright