President Trump takes aim at aid for Palestinians

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"It's not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing, but also many other countries, and others".

In a Facebook post on Monday Mr Zomlot, the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) envoy, said he would be returning to the U.S. after spending time "with loved ones".

With stalled negotiations on Middle East peace, Trump tweeted Tuesday about how Washington gives Palestinians "HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS" a year but gets "no appreciation or respect" in return.

"We will not be blackmailed", senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement Wednesday after Trump's tweet.

Israel strongly claims Jerusalem as its undivided capital, while Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Israel occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accused Trump of unilaterally withdrawing from its role as mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. He also said the United States will shift its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

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Trump's December 6 decision to recognize Jerusalem - disputed territory - as the Israeli capital and to eventually move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv has drawn worldwide criticism and outrage, resulting in weeks of protests in several countries and a call to arms by militant groups in the Middle East and Africa. "We're going to make sure that they come to the table".

In a statement, Abbas said: "We hope that this vote serves as a reminder for the worldwide community that the Israeli government, with the full support of the United States administration, is not interested in a just and lasting peace".

But the US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said earlier Tuesday that Trump planned to withhold money for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the entity tasked with aiding Palestinian refugees, if their leaders did not fully engage in the USA -led peace process with Israel. The tweets also came after the White House confirmed that the United States plans to withhold some of its aid to Pakistan to pressure the country into better counterterrorism cooperation with the US.

U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority stood at about $319 million in 2016, according to USA government figures.

More: What would it take to jump-start Israeli-Palestinian peace talks?

Later on Sunday, the official PA news agency Wafa issued a new report that said Abbas ordered Zomlot to come to Ramallah to consult about "what happened at the UN General Assembly and future steps that will be taken".

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