"Trump will not vanquish us", Mustafa Barghouti, chairman of the Palestine National Initiative and a member of the Palestinian Central Council, said on Ashams Radio Wednesday, after the USA president threatened to cut off aid to Palestinians living under Israeli occupation and refugees in the diaspora. He went on to suggest the USA shouldn't make any future payments due to their refusal to accept his peace process.
This statement came following USA ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley statement saynig that President Donald Trump wants to pull the plug on funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) if Palestinians do not return to negotiations with Israel.
"We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table". Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accused Trump of unilaterally withdrawing from its role as mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Since 2008, an average of 100 million dollars a year has been allocated to the security services of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas.
Haley's comments don't make it clear whether the U.S.is seeking to defund or withdraw contributions to UNRWA until the Palestinians "return to the negotiating table" with Israel.
While Trump administration officials have said they expected a "cooling off period" with the Palestinians, Trump's tweets Tuesday signaled the President has grown frustrated with Palestinians' refusal to partake in a US-led peace process in the wake of his Jerusalem decision.
"They take hundreds of millions of dollars, even billions of dollars and then they vote against us", Trump told reporters. As of now, they're not coming to the table but they asked for aid. "The Palestinians now have to show the world they want to come to the table", Haley said. Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its united capital, while the Palestinians see the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.
The White house official added that while the administration won't give taxpayer money to those spreading lies about the USA, "we remain hard at work on our comprehensive peace plan, which will benefit both Israelis and Palestinians and will be unveiled when it is ready".
"We will not be blackmailed", Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's executive committee, responded, according to CNN.
President Donald Trump threatened Tuesday to cut aid to Palestine following an embarrassing diplomatic defeat at the United Nations.
Mr Trump's declaration last month led Mr Abbas to say the U.S. could no longer play any role in the peace process.
Chris Gunness, a spokesman for UNRWA, said it had not been informed of any changes to U.S. funding at this time.
The U.S. was the biggest donor to UNRWA in 2016, giving $368,429,712.