White House reviewing aid to Palestinians amid ‘recent conduct’

After Mahmoud Abbas referred to the US as “a dishonest mediator,” among other disparaging remarks by Palestinian leadership, a senior Trump administration official confirmed that the US may cut aid to the Palestinians.

By: Ebin Sandler, World Israel News

US President Donald Trump instructed his administration to review aid to the Palestinians and agencies that facilitate assistance, a move that is in line with the president’s comments on social media. The US is reportedly considering a substantial decrease in aid if Palestinian power brokers do not engage in earnest negotiations with Israel, according to a senior administration official who spoke to the Israeli media on Thursday.

Earlier in the week, the president tweeted, “We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more. But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”

The president’s tweet was a reference to the US’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and its decision to move its embassy there.

Among the cuts that US officials are weighing are allocations for the the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which distributes funds solely to Palestinians, among other UN agencies that the US sees as pushing an anti-Israel agenda. Previously, the US announced it will be leaving the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO), which has passed a number of resolutions denying the Jewish people’s connection to the land of Israel.

A White House official who spoke to the Jerusalem Post on Thursday stated that while the president is “as committed to trying to achieve the ultimate peace deal as ever … 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 also referred to the administration’s development of a “comprehensive peace plan which will benefit both Israelis and Palestinians and will be unveiled when it is ready and the time is right.”