WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump lashed out at the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday in response to what he views as attacks on his administration by its leadership, a senior White House official said.The president in a Twitter storm threatened to cut aid to the Palestinians if they refuse to reenter serious peace talks with Israel. PA officials have dismissed Trump as an honest broker after he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last month.
“The president is a master deal-maker and is as committed to trying to achieve the ultimate peace deal as ever but he will not tolerate falsehoods being spread about America and our positions—and he certainly will not spend taxpayer dollars to subsidize those who spread them,” the official told The Jerusalem Post. “In the meantime, we remain hard at work on our comprehensive peace plan which will benefit both Israelis and Palestinians and will be unveiled when it is ready and the time is right.”Trump has assigned his son-in-law and special representative for international negotiations, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, to bring Israelis and Palestinians to the negotiating table. They have been working on a plan to do so for over a year and remain undeterred, despite growing distrust on the Palestinian side, US officials say.Trump also tweeted that his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital takes the issue “off the table” in peace negotiations, echoing words first uttered by his envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, shortly after the decision was first announced. The administration has previously said that recognition does not predetermine the final status of sovereignty in the ancient city.The White House did not immediately offer clarity on the policy.
US threatens to withhold aid cash to Palestinians, January 3, 2018 (Reuters)