Donald Trump has threatened to cut aid to Palestinians in his latest Twitter posts, accusing them of not showing the US any respect.
The President had been firing off a series of angry tweets in which he warned North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that he has a nuclear button which is “much bigger”.
Mr Trump then turned his focus to the Middle East, tweeting: “It’s not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing, but also many other countries, and others.
“As an example, we pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue 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?”
…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) 2 January 2018
The US has provided the Palestinian Authority with budgetary support and security assistance for a long time, as well as an additional $304m for the UN’s programmes in the West Bank and Gaza.
It was not long before the President received a stern response.
“We will not be blackmailed,” senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement.
“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!”
Donald Trump has previously boasted that he will achieve the “ultimate deal” to secure peace in the Middle East, putting pressure on the Palestinian people to agree a deal, despite making decisions that have provoked them.
Mr Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel sparked outrage among Palestinians, who said the move showed Washington could not claim to be a neutral broker in any peace talks.
The decision sparked condemnation and deadly protests in the Palestinian territories and was also condemned at the UN.