16:43 GMT +324 September 2018
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    President Donald Trump visits the Western Wall, Monday, May 22, 2017, in Jerusalem

    Trump Threatens to Cut Off Aid to Palestine Unless Peace Negotiations Resume

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    US President Donald Trump wrote a pair of tweets on Tuesday where he questioned why the US was continuing to give "massive" amounts of money in aid payments to Palestine if they were "no longer willing to talk peace" with Israel.

    In the tweets, Trump noted that the US pays "hundreds of million dollars a year" to Palestine in foreign aid but receives "no appreciation or respect for it." He implied that the money flow will stop if the Palestinians do not return to the negotiating table with the Israelis.

    "We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table," said Trump, referring to his controversial December decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — a city that Israel considers to be its capital but the international community writ large does not.

    In December, Trump also threatened to end foreign assistance to countries that voted in the UN to condemn his decision to move the embassy. "Let them vote against us. We'll save a lot. We don't care. But this isn't like it used to be where they could vote against you and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars and nobody knows what they're doing," Trump reportedly said during a cabinet meeting. He also threatened to pull US funding of the UN.

    While Trump has been known for indulging in idle threats and tough talk over Twitter, he sometimes does deliver. On Monday, he vowed to put an end to foreign aid to Pakistan in retribution for their alleged harboring of Islamic terror groups. The next day, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley announced that some $255 million in US foreign aid payments to Pakistan would indeed come to a halt.

    According to foreignassistance.gov, the US paid $291 million to Palestine in 2017. An additional $251 million in aid is planned for 2018. Foreign aid to Palestine peaked in 2009, when the US gave over $1 billion.

    By comparison, the US gives $3.1 billion in aid to Israel every year — in 2017, only Afghanistan received more.

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    Tags:
    foreign aid, aid, Israeli-Palestininan Conflict, UN, Nikki Haley, Donald Trump, Palestine, Israel, Pakistan
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