President Trump has cut foreign aid to Palestinians in the wake of their refusal to participate in peace negotiations with Israel, brokered by the U.S. The president declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel last month and directed the U.S. State Department to begin preparations to move the U.S embassy there. That move angered the Palestinians and drew widespread condemnation from countries and leaders the world over.
The U.S. is reducing its financial contribution to a United Nations agency that provides support to Palestinians. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) received $355 million from the U.S. in 2017. This year, they will get $65 million less, according to the Associated Press.
“[W]ith the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?” President Trump tweeted earlier this year.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas replied with anger on Sunday. “[President Trump] said, ‘I will give you a peace deal.’ The deal turned out to be a mess. He said, ‘We will not pay for the Palestinians because they stopped the negotiations.’ Where are the negotiations?” Abbas said.