Palestine leader to Trump: 'Shame on you'
Palestine's President Mahmoud Abbas says US President Donald Trump should be ashamed of himself for his handling of Mideast peace efforts.
In a fiery speech to the Palestinian Central Council, a decision-making body, on Sunday, Abbas criticised Trump and his policies toward the Palestinians, including his recognition last month of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Abbas said "shame on you" for Trump's claim that the Palestinians refuse to negotiate. He says the Palestinians remain committed to negotiations, but are ready to reject what they fear will be an unfair proposal from the White House.Trump tax cut bill clears first hurdle
The rhetoric reflects the strained relations between the Palestinians and the Trump administration. The Palestinians view his Jerusalem declaration as having destroyed his credibility as a Mideast peace broker.
Meanwhile the Trump administration is reportedly preparing to withhold tens of millions of dollars from the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, cutting the year's first contribution by more than half or perhaps entirely, and making additional donations contingent on major changes to the organisation, according to US officials.
Trump hasn't made a final decision, but appears more likely to send only $US60 million ($A84 million) of the planned $US125 million first instalment to the UN Relief and Works Agency, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.South Korea, US stage largest air exercise
Future contributions would require the agency, facing heavy Israeli criticism, to demonstrate significant changes in operations, they said, adding that one suggestion under consideration would require the Palestinians to first re-enter peace talks with Israel.