US Is Mentioned to Withhold Added $45 Million in Palestinian Assist
19 January, 2018, 02:07 | Author: Kim Reid
On Dec. 6, U.S. President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ordered the relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.
The agency focuses on providing health care, education and social services to Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. "We would like other countries - in fact, other countries that criticize the United States for what they believe to be our position vis-a-vis the Palestinians, other countries that have criticized us - to step forward and actually help with UNRWA, to do more".
The Norwegian Refugee Council, an independent humanitarian organization that works in 31 countries, said the funding cut will have "devastating consequences for vulnerable Palestinian refugees across the Middle East".
"One of the things that the United States would like to do is see some revisions made in how UNRWA operates", she said, adding that further funding could also depend on whether other countries were prepared to contribute more. It is an independent agency, not a Palestinian institution.
"There has already been a reduction of aid in recent years", she said.
During the now-defunct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the PA demanded a return to the pre-1967 armistice lines, dubbed "Auschwitz borders" because they're indefensible, putting Jewish and Christian holy sites under Palestinian control and flooding the truncated Jewish state with thousands of "refugees", effectively eliminating it.
Nauert said other countries should shoulder more of the costs for UNRWA.
The U.S. provides roughly one-third of UNRWA's budget, and the agency has warned that it now faces the "most dramatic financial crisis" in its almost 70-year history.
"UNRWA has proven time and again to be an agency that misuses the humanitarian aid of the global community and instead supports anti-Israel propaganda, perpetuates the plight of Palestinian refugees and encourages hate", said Danny Danon, Israel's ambassador to the UN. Its commissioner-general, Pierre Krähenbühl says that given the long-standing relationship between the agency and the US, "this reduced contribution threatens one of the most successful human development endeavors" in the Middle East. "At stake is the access of 525,000 boys and girls in 700 UNRWA schools, and their future".
She accused the USA of "targeting the most vulnerable segment of the Palestinian people".
In a Twitter post on January 2, Trump said that Washington gives the Palestinians "HUNDRED OFMILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect".
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he was "very concerned" about the impact on the region.
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