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Hanan Ashrawi to Trump: 'We will not be blackmailed'

Hanan Ashrawi to Trump: 'We will not be blackmailed'
From Al Jazeera - January 2, 2018

A senior Palestinian official has responded with defiance to Donald Trump's threat via Twitter to cut aid to the Palestinian Authority.

Hanan Ashrawi's rebuke followed the US president's tweet admitting that the Middle East peace process was in difficulty and warning Palestinians that they could lose US aid worth more than $300m a year.

"We will not be blackmailed," Ashrawi said in a statement on Wednesday.

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

In his tweet on Tuesday, Trump said: "We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect.

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

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018

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

Relations between his administration and the Palestinian Authority have deteriorated sinceTrumpdecidedlast month torecognise Jerusalemas Israel's capital.

US aid to the Palestinian Authority stood atabout $319 million in 2016, according to US government figures.

Jerusalem controversy

The US gives Israel annual military aid of $3.1bn. Next year, that figure will increase to $3.8bn under a 10-year deal agreed by Barack Obama shortly before his presidency ended.

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