Trump says Palestinians ‘disrespected’ US, will withhold millions in aid

ARAB NEWS DAVOS: At a bilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, US President Donald Trump alluded to his decision in December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s official capital, breaking the US’s longstanding policy that the city’s final status should be determined by peace negotiations.

“We took Jerusalem off the table so we don’t have to talk about it anymore,” he said Thursday. “What I did with Jerusalem was my honor.”

Trump also insisted on Thursday that Palestinians had “disrespected” the United States and that he would withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in aid until they agree to US-brokered peace talks.

“They disrespected us a week ago by not allowing our great vice president (Mike Pence) to see them,” Trump said during the meeting with Netanyahu.

“We give them hundreds of millions,” Trump added. “That money is not going to them unless they sit down and negotiate peace.”

The Palestinians rejected Trump’s fresh threat to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, with a senior official labelling him an “oppressor”.

A spokesman for president Mahmoud Abbas said they would not meet with the US administration until it withdrew its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Another senior Palestinian official, Hanan Ashrawi, said “not meeting your oppressor is not a sign of disrespect; it is a sign of self-respect.

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