“All [Palestinians have] done is have their hand out asking for money, badmouth the United States, not come to the table on the peace deal — why would we have a PLO office? Why would we continue to fund the Palestinians?” asked Haley.
US Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Nikki Haley lent support to the latest actions taken by the Trump administration against the Palestinians, including the shuttering of their Washington headquarters, saying that “all they’ve done is have their hand out asking for money, badmouth[ing]” the US.
Speaking with Fox News’ Special Report anchor Bret Baier during a wide-ranging interview on Wednesday, Haley charged, “All [Palestinians have] done is have their hand out asking for money, badmouth the United States, not come to the table on the peace deal — why would we have a PLO office? Why would we continue to fund the Palestinians?”
The Trump administration ordered the closure of the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington on Monday, citing the refusal of Palestinians to enter into talks with Israel and their rejection of the as-yet-unveiled US peace plan as the reason for the dramatic move.
Instead of heeding the warning to resume talks, “the PLO leadership has condemned a US peace plan they have not yet seen and refused to engage with the US government with respect to peace efforts and otherwise,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement. “As such, and reflecting congressional concerns, the administration has decided that the PLO office in Washington will close at this point.”
Asked if she thought President Donald Trump’s actions would change the Palestinians’ policies of rejectionism, Haley said Wednesday it was “totally up to the Palestinians.”
Haley said that the US was ready to negotiate a peace deal as soon as the Palestinians were prepared to return to negotiations.
“If the leadership of the Palestinians came to the table, automatically you’re going to have a peace plan. Negotiations are going to happen. Neither side is going to like it,” she said. “But the Palestinians have more to gain than Israel ever will.”
She said that the Trump administration has not given up on its peace plan, even though the Palestinians have repeatedly rejected the as-yet unveiled plan.
“This isn’t going to stop our work on the peace deal. We are moving forward, we’re going to continue to push it,” she said. “We’re going to continue to hope that they see the error of what they’ve done and come back to the table, and we will welcome them when they do.”
Iran Feeling the Pain
As for the US’ actions against Iran, Haley said that Iran is “feeling the pain” from the newly-imposed sanctions that have already hit Iran’s economy hard.
“They feel weak and we are suffocating them to the point that they have to address ballistic missiles; they have to address their support on terrorism,” Haley said.
The first set of US sanctions against Iran that had been eased under the controversial nuclear accord went back into effect in August under an executive order signed by Trump, targeting financial transactions that involve US dollars, Iran’s automotive sector, the purchase of commercial planes and metals including gold.
US sanctions targeting Iran’s oil sector and central bank are to be reimposed in early November.
“Our focus right now is on the Iranian people,” Haley said, acknowledging the unrest in the country. “I mean, they have protested, they have spoken out, they have said they want a better life. … But at the end of the day, we can’t allow them to have any nuclear programs,” she underscored