Top PLO official says Trump threatened to 'starve Palestinian children'

Casey Dawson
January 6, 2018

"With the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?"

Trump's actions are likely to cast that further in doubt. The Palestinians announced shortly after that the USA will no longer play a role in mediating an agreement with Israel.

Israel passed a new law which will make plans for peace in the Middle East much more hard, just before US President Donald Trump attacked the Palestinians for lagging peace negotiations.

He said: "We will continue our efforts in the United Nations and at all global forums to put an end to this occupation, and to establish our Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital".

'President Trump has sabotaged our search for peace, freedom and justice, ' she said.

The remark was widely condemned by the Palestinian side, which is angry at the USA over Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"Haley responded to a question regarding whether the U.S. would continue to fund the agency in light of the Palestinians' threat to "unleash all the weapons we have in the UN", by saying, "[President Trump] doesn't want to give any additional funding, or stop funding, until the Palestinians agree to come back to the negotiation table, and what we saw with the [UN Jerusalem] resolution was not helpful to the situation".

Trump added more fuel to the fire on Twitter by saying that the United States pays "hundreds of millions dollars a year" to the Palestinians and that Jerusalem, "the toughest part of the negotiation", is "off the table". "Now he dares to blame the Palestinians for the consequences of his own irresponsible actions!"

The office of Palestine's President Mahmoud Abbas rejected what the Palestinians called Trump's "blackmail" attempt, saying "Jerusalem is not for sale, neither for gold nor silver".

The Palestinians rely heavily on worldwide aid, with many analysts, including Israelis, saying such assistance helps maintain stability in a volatile region.

Certainly much has changed since the negotiations of the 1990s, and the United States can not unilaterally impose a divided Jerusalem.

Failed missile test hits North Korean town
While a technical analysis of the missile's flight is still pending, the US official said it had "problems with re-entry". North Korea has not been lucky with missiles of late with a string of failures that engulfed the nation.

"They don't even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel", he continued.

Other events in Washington in recent months have been created to put the squeeze on the Palestinians and make them return to the negotiating table.

The Times notes this move "to make it far more hard to create a Palestinian state" follows actions that "have come on multiple fronts, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's party for the first time has urged the annexation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and the nation's top legal officers pressed to extend Israeli law into occupied territory".

Haley, in a letter to dozens of United Nations states last month, warned that Trump had asked her to "report back on those countries who voted against us". It is also the largest overall supplier of financial support for the Palestinians.

Donald Trump will hold an exclusive party for countries who did not vote to approve a United Nations resolution condemning his administration's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Trump tasked son-in-law Jared Kushner with restarting the effort, and brought his former attorney, Jason Greenblatt, into the White House to lead the negotiations.

The status of Jerusalem goes to the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

On Sunday, the PA said it was recalling its envoy to the United States for consultations, in protest of U.S. actions.

It's not clear what Trump meant by having taken Jerusalem "off the table".

When Trump declared Jerusalem to be Israel's capital, he insisted that the move would improve, not hurt, prospects for clinching a peace deal.

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