Palestinians outraged by US president’s ‘blackmail’ to cut aid

World | 3 Jan 2018 3:34 pm

A senior Palestinian leader has expressed outrage at President Donald Trump’s threat to cut funding to the Palestinian Authority, calling his tweets "blackmail.”

Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement on Wednesday that Trump "singlehandedly destroyed the very foundations of peace” by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last month. She says the Palestinians "will not be blackmailed.”

She also says "Trump has sabotaged our search for peace, freedom and justice.”

The United States has given the Palestinians over US$5 billion in economic and security aid since the mid-1990s, according to Congressional research figures, with an average of US$100 million annually since 2008 for President Mahmoud Abbas’s security services.

Cutting the funding could prove disastrous for Israel, which relies on security cooperation with the PA to maintain calm in the West Bank. -AP

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