UNRWA says it received no official US notice on aid cuts

Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas addresses the Palestinian leadership at the opening of a two-day conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah to discuss the future of the Palestinian Authority

Abbas Warns Israel to Rethink'Apartheid Policy'Before It's Too Late AFP 2017 ABBAS MOMANI

USA ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley threatened on Tuesday that the U.S. would cut funding to the UN's Palestinian refugee relief agency if the Israeli-Palestinian peace process fails to move forward. In his remarks, Trump explicitly said that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel and the USA would be moving its embassy in the country to the holy city from Tel Aviv.

In response, Palestinians no longer trust the USA with peace talks since Trump's Jerusalem decision clearly proves the US can no longer claim to be an unbiased mediator.

"We have taken Jerusalem, the hardest part of the negotiation, off the topic for discussion, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more". The Palestinians now have to show they want to come to the table.

"By recognizing Occupied Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Donald Trump has not only violated global law, but he has also single handedly destroyed the very foundations of peace and condoned Israel's illegal annexation of the city".

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"Trump ruined our pursuit of peace, freedom and justice and now blames the Palestinians for the consequences of his reckless actions", she added.

The refugee question is a major obstacle to a two-state solution which aims to forge an independent State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel based on 1967 borders, and which would make East Jerusalem the capital of Palestine. "We are going to make sure they are coming to the table and we want to move forward with the peace process".

The US gave $357m to the Palestinian Authority in 2016, according to The Times of Israel. The tweets also came after the White House confirmed that the USA plans to withhold some of its aid to Pakistan to pressure the country into better counterterrorism cooperation with the US.

It is important to mention here that just when Trump was criticizing Palestine over hindering negotiations, Israel enacted a controversial law that would essentially make peace in the Middle East (further) unattainable.

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Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, the USA has been among the major donors to the Palestinian Authority (PA), created to manage limited self-governance in parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem - now illegally occupied by Israel - might eventually serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.

Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi responded with a statement Wednesday.

'In threatening to cut off future "huge" payments to the Palestinians, the president is actually posing a direct threat to Israel's security & wellbeing.

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