WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Tuesday angrily threatened to cut off U.S. aid to Palestinians as punishment for what he called their failure to show “appreciation or respect” to the U.S.
Writing on Twitter, the president compared the Palestinians to Pakistan, a nuclear-armed ally that abruptly drew his ire this week and a similar threat to drastically curtail aid.
He accused the Palestinians of recalcitrance in what he described as their refusal to negotiate a peace deal with Israel.
Palestinian officials have said they can no longer use Washington as a broker to restart peace talks with Israel following Trump’s Dec. 6 decision to overturn decades of U.S. policy and recognize the disputed city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and ultimately to move the U.S. Embassy there.
The Palestinians also claim part of Jerusalem as the capital of an eventual independent state. Until now, the United States and most of the world agreed the city’s political status was a matter to settle in final peace talks.
The United States does not pay large amounts of money directly to the Palestinian Authority, the government that rules over parts of the Palestinian West Bank. Instead, most money goes to the U.N., refugee or aid agencies and even Israel to pay for roads, welfare, schools, security and other Palestinian projects.