A spokesperson for Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has said that Jerusalem is not for sale, responding to a threat by US President Donald Trump to cut annual aid to the Palestinian Authority.
The threat from Trump came in a tweet on Tuesday, which said the US could cut its $300 million annual aid to Palestinians because it gets “no appreciation or respect” in return.
“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?” it read.
The remark was widely condemned by the Palestinian side, which is angry at the US over Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Jewish state annexed the eastern part of the city after capturing it during the 1967 war, but the Israeli move was rejected by the world community until 2017.
“Jerusalem is not for sale, neither for gold nor for silver,” Nabil Abu Rdainah said on Wednesday. He added: "If the United States is keen about peace and about its interests, it must abide by that.” Hanan Ashrawi, a senior executive of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said that Palestinians "will not be blackmailed."
Some Israeli officials welcomed Trump’s aid cut plan, saying it put due pressure on the Palestinians. But opposition politician Tzipi Livni, a former foreign minister, said it may lead to a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which would hurt Israel as well.
Earlier the US announced its plan to cut funding to various UN bodies for an alleged anti-Israeli bias and said it would cut aid to nations, which voted for a non-binding UN Assembly resolution, which condemned US recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital.