Palestinians will not be 'blackmailed' by Trump funding threat: senior official

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Trump's tweets came just hours after U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, announced presidential intentions to punish the Palestinians over their refusal to hold negotiations with Israel.

US President Donald Trump has indirectly hinted at stopping financial assistance to Palestine for their unwillingness to negotiate peace with Israel.

The Trump administration's decision last month to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy to the contested city broke with decades of State Department policy.

"We are not against going back to negotiations, but (these should be) based on global laws and resolutions that have recognized an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital", Abu Rudeina said.

On Tuesday, he accused the Palestinians of refusing to negotiate peace with Israelis, and indicated that USA aid should be enough to get "respect" and "appreciation" by way of negotiating with Israel. President Mahmoud Abbas has vehemently objected to Trump's decision on Jerusalem and said his government would not accept any USA peace plan with Israel.

Opposition to the new American policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict took center stage on December 21, when the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of a non-binding resolution calling on Washington to rescind its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas claimed that Trump's recognition of Jerusalem, which both Israelis and Palestinians claim as their capital, discredited the U.S. as an honest broker in the peace process. Without the opportunity for discussions on Jerusalem, it's unlikely Palestinian leadership would agree to any US-led peace talks. However, it is also a disputed territory, contested by both Israel and Palestine, which sees it as a capital of its future state. As of now they are not coming to the table but they ask for aid.

In a statement on Trump's tweet, one Palestinian leader said they will not be blackmailed.

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However, on Friday morning Trump vaguely denied ever calling Haiti, El Salvador and a number of African countries "shitholes". Marine Corps , Feeley joined the State Department in 1990, becoming ambassador to Panama in 2015.

Donald Trump further inflamed the Middle East yesterday after threatening to cut aid to "disrespectful" Palestine.

Chris Gunness, a spokesman for UNRWA, said it had not been informed of any changes to U.S. funding at this time.

"We still very much want to have a peace process".

Palestine also said it would be willing to negotiate with Israel but wanted the US excluded from any talks as it would be impartial.

"If the United States is keen about peace and about its interests it must abide by that", he said.

On Monday, the Palestinian government had recalled its United States ambassador following Trump's controversial decision of recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel a few weeks ago.

The U.S. was the biggest donor to UNRWA in 2016, giving $368,429,712.

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