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‘US financial threats are political blackmail,’ says Hamas

Palestinians receive humanitarian aid at the United Nations aid distribution centre in Gaza city, on 18 February 2014 [Mohammed Asad/Apaimages]
Palestinians receive humanitarian aid at the United Nations aid distribution centre in Gaza city, on 18 February 2014 [Mohammed Asad/Apaimages]

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, has described US threats to cut aid for the Palestinian Authority and the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees as “cheap political blackmail,” Quds Press reported on Wednesday.

“Donald Trump’s position reflects the barbarian and immoral American behaviour and treatment of the Palestinian cause and the rights of the Palestinian people,” said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum. “This demands more Palestinian unity and strength to be able to stand up against such pressure.” He called for more Arab, Islamic and international support for Palestinian rights in the face of US and Israeli policies.

Trump threatened to stop US aid to the PA and UNRWA on Tuesday, claiming that the Palestinians do not want peace. “But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace,” he wrote on Twitter, “why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”

In another tweet, he wrote: “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.”

Read: US threatens to withhold aid cash to Palestinians

The US ambassador at the UN, Nikki Haley, said that the US would stop its support for UNRWA in order to put pressure on the Palestinians to “come to the negotiating table with Israel.”

Neither Trump nor Haley suggested that the US will put pressure on Israel to end its violations of international law and its brutal military occupation of Palestine, all of which are supported by American tax dollars.

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