The Palestinians' chief negotiator said Friday that a U.S. diplomat had warned of a cut in aid to the Palestinians if they proceed with a unilateral bid for statehood at the U.N in September.
The U.S. said that negotiator Saeb Erekat had mischaracterized the words of the U.S. consul-general in Jerusalem, but declined to comment further.
Israel and the U.S. strongly oppose the Palestinians' U.N. plan, saying Palestinian statehood should only be achieved through negotiations. They maintain that a Palestinian state must emerge from Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which have been stalled for almost a year.
Erekat said the U.S. Consul-General in Jerusalem, Daniel Rubinstein, told him Friday that the U.S. Congress will take "punitive measures" if the Palestinians proceed with seeking U.N. recognition of statehood.
"It will stop granting the Palestinians its annual aid package" of about $470 million, Rubinstein said, according to Erekat.
"If the Palestinian Authority seeks to upgrade its position at the U.N. through the General Assembly then the American Congress will take punitive measures against the Palestinian Authority including halting American assistance," Erekat quoted the consul-general as saying.
TVNL Comment: US foreign policy is controlled by AIPAC. Keep that in mind. They, alone, will determine who may have US support for independence from tyranny.