Wednesday, 3 January 2018

US Government Threatens To Cut Aid To Palestinian Territories

US President Donald Trump has threatened to cut US aid to Palestinians, currently worth more than $300 million a year. “We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect,” Trump tweeted. “With the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”

It was not immediately clear whether Trump was threatening all of the budget, worth $319 million in 2016, according to US government figures. The US has long provided the Palestinian Authority with much-needed budgetary support and security assistance, as well as an additional $304 million for the UN’s programs in the West Bank and Gaza.

Unless Trump follows through on his customary tough talk, the message is likely to be seen as primarily political. Trump came to office boasting that he could achieve the “ultimate deal” that secures peace in the Middle East, something that has eluded presidents since the late 1960s.

For most the last half century the United States has been seen as an indispensable if sometimes imperfect arbiter of the peace process. Trump’s actions are likely to cast that further in doubt.

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