U.S. to end all funding for UNRWA which supports Palestinian ‘refugees’

Clay Curtis
September 1, 2018

"First of all, you're looking at the fact that, yes, there's an endless number of refugees that continue to get assistance, but more importantly, the Palestinians continue to bash America", Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations said Tuesday.

Jordan said on Thursday it would lead a campaign to raise funds for the UN agency that supports Palestinian refugees, to help it survive after the United States cut its funding.

UNRWA says it provides services to about 5 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank and Gaza.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley has advocated for cutting funding to the UNRWA, saying on Tuesday that Palestinians "continue to bash America".

Nauert said the agency´s "endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries is simply unsustainable and has been in crisis mode for many years".

"We have no announcements on UNRWA funding at this time", a State Department spokeswoman told Reuters.

The State Department also announced last week that Washington had canceled over $200 million in funds for the Palestinian Authority, leading Palestinian officials to denounce the move as "blackmail".

The Washington Post reported Thursday that the United States would also move ahead with a previously reported plan to remove the refugee status from millions of Palestinians around the world - recognizing only several hundred thousand instead of the five million claimed by Palestinians.

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But under Trump, Washington has taken a number of actions that have alienated the Palestinians, including the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

In Gaza, the Islamist group Hamas condemned the U.S. move as a "grave escalation against the Palestinian people".

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"The loss of this organization could unleash an uncontrollable chain reaction", he said.

The US, which roughly provided one-third of UNRWA's budget, suspended $65 million of the $125 million in aid it planned to contribute to the program back in January.

In a statement, the State Department said that the US was no longer willing to fund a disproportionate share of the UNWRA costs. We are very mindful of and deeply concerned regarding the impact upon innocent Palestinians, especially school children, of the failure of UNRWA and key members of the regional and worldwide donor community to reform and reset the UNRWA way of doing business.

"The continuation of UNRWA means continued commitment by the global community to working towards a just solution of the refugees that guarantees the right of return and compensation", Safadi said.

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