Since December 6, 2017, Palestinians had a organized a series of huge protests in the Western Bank and the Gaza Strip against the US decision to recognize Jerusalem city as the capital of Israel under the slogan “day of rage”. The protests were held every Friday. However, the last Friday didn’t witness any protest in the Palestinian region. Palestinian activists didn’t clarify why the protests were suspended.
Observers believe that the Palestinians protestors were depressed because their movement didn’t affect the US, Israel, the Arab world or even the Palestinian government itself.
In a related development, the US suspended a $125 million payment to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (URWA), according to the Israeli Channel Ten diplomatic correspondent Barak Ravid. The source said the aid will be suspended until the US administration finishes a review of US aid to the Palestinian authorities.
The UNRWA helps hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, in the Palestinian regions, Lebanon, Syria and many other countries. The organization has no political links or background. The US administration likely suspended the aid to pressure the Palestinian government back into the negotiations with Israel.
US President Donald Trump threatened to cut off funding for the Palestinian authorities unless it recommences peace talks in a tweet on January 2. The US president even claimed that the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was a motive to the negotiations.
…peace treaty with Israel. 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?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
The Palestinian government will likely comply with Trump’s request and return to the US-sponsored negotiations with Israel in the future, because its heavily influenced by the US and lacks any real support from the Arab countries.