Sitting beside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the World Economic Forum in Davos in Switzerland, U.S. President Donald Trump said that aid provided to Palestinians “is on the table and it's not going to them unless they sit down and negotiate peace.”
He went on to say that Palestinians are given "hundreds of millions of dollars in aid and support" a year, and unless they sit down to negotiate peace with the Israelis, that funding would be cut.
In response to the outburst, Saeb Erekat, a former Palestinian chief peace negotiator, said: "Trump could buy many things with his money, but he won’t be able to buy the dignity of our nation."
While Trump accused the Palestinians of "disrespecting... our great Vice President Mike Pence" by refusing to meet with him in the region earlier this week, going on to question, "why should we do something for them when they do nothing for us?" Erekat reiterated that “those who say that Jerusalem is off the table are saying that peace is off the table.”
The former negotiator said "Jerusalem is not off the negotiations table, rather the U.S. is outside the international consensus," adding that “the holy city is in the hearts of each and every Palestinian, Arab, Christian and Muslim, and there will be no peace without East Jerusalem being the sovereign capital of the State of Palestine," according to Haaretz.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also took issue with Trump. A spokesman for the Palestinian leader affirmed that if Jerusalem was no longer part of the peace negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, then the United States is no longer welcome at the talks.