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Trump Threatens To Cut Off U.S. Aid To Palestinians


President Donald Trump has threatened in posts to Twitter to cut off U.S. aid to the Palestinians unless their leaders resume peace negotiations with Israel.

The tweets from Trump on Tuesday come after he previously criticized U.S. aid to Pakistan, which he accused of giving safe haven to terrorists.

"It's not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing, but also many other countries, and others," Trump tweeted. "As an example, we pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect."

"They don't even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel. We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more," he added. "But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?"

The comments from Trump come after he drew widespread criticism last month for officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

A report released by the Congressional Research Service in December of 2016 showed that U.S. economic support to the West Bank and Gaza Strip has averaged around $400 million a year since fiscal 2008.

Palestinian Liberation Organization executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi suggested Trump was attempting to blackmail the Palestinians.

"President Trump has sabotaged our search for peace, freedom and justice," Ashrawi said in a statement. "Now he dares to blame the Palestinians for the consequences of his own irresponsible actions!"

(Photo: Gage Skidmore)

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