White House: No Plans to Withdraw Palestinian Aid After U.N. Vote

Palestinians celebrate in the streets of Ramallah, after the U.N. General Assembly voted to upgrade the Palestinian Authority’s status to nonmember observer state. (Getty Images)

There are no plans to withdraw aid to the Palestinian Authority following the United Nations vote to recognize Palestine as an independent state, a White House spokesman said Friday.

Josh Earnest told reporters traveling on Air Force One that the U.S. opposed the resolution to give the Palestinian Authority nonmember observer state status because the Israel-Palestinian conflict should be resolved “only through face-to-face negotiations, not unilateral actions,” according to the White House pool report.

A bipartisan group of senators had threatened to cut off millions in U.S. financial aid to the Palestinians if the vote succeeded.

Earnest said there were no other consequences under consideration that he could discuss.

The U.S. was one of just nine nations to vote against the resolution Thursday, including Israel and Canada. There were 138 votes in favor of the Palestinian push, with 41 abstentions.

After the vote, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blasted the move as “unfortunate and counterproductive” and reiterated that direct negotiations are the only way to achieve peace.