Palestinians say Jerusalem "not for sale" after Trump threatens to cut aid
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech during an extraordinary meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey on December 13, 2017. [File Photo: VCG]
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's office said Wednesday that Jerusalem is not for sale after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to cut off financial aid to Palestinians.
"Jerusalem is not for sale, neither for gold nor silver," Abbas spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh said, according to official Palestinian news agency (WAFA).
Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi said "Palestinians' rights are not for sale. By recognizing occupied Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Donald Trump has not only violated international law, but has also singlehandedly destroyed the very foundations of peace and condoned Israel's illegal annexation of the city."
Ashrawi added "we will not be blackmailed. 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 action!"
On Twitter on Tuesday, Trump said "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...with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?"
Hamas spokesman in Gaza Fawzi Barhoum said in an emailed press statement that "U.S. President Donald Trump's threat to cut aid to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) for getting to negotiations is a cheap political blackmail that reflects the barbaric and immoral American manner in dealing with the just Palestinian cause and the rights of the Palestinian people."