The U.S. administration will in few weeks announce its decision to cut all funding to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) after it decided to cut $200 of aid to the Palestinian authority (PA).
The Washington Post Thursday revealed the Trump administration will be announcing shortly its decision to halt all funding to the UN refugee agency that provides health care, education and other social services to Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.
The U.S. administration already in January withheld $65 million of its annual $350 million contribution – the largest per country- after Palestinians castigated President Trump’s recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The decision for the halt concurs with a report by Foreign Policy (FP), which notes the decision to scale back aid to the UN agency was made at a meeting earlier this month between President Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The decision made during the meeting has been conveyed to key countries in the Middle East region, according to reports.
The January cut has exasperated the operation of the UNRWA, which has also been targeted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu has called for the dismantling of the agency, claiming it has rather sustained the flight of Palestinian refugees.
“The time has come to dismantle UNRWA and have its parts integrated into the UN High Commission for Refugees,” he said.
The decision to halt funds to UNRWA follows the Trump Administration’s Friday announcement to cut the $200 million aid to the Palestinian Authority. The announcement was no surprise as Trump threatened to deprive the Ramallah-based Palestinian internationally recognized Authority of the U.S. aid following Palestinians’ rejection of his boasted deal of the century between Palestinians and Israelis, which will not include Jerusalem that he declared Israel’s capital last year.
The aid halting will be accompanied by the Trump administration’s rejection of the Palestinian demand that all refugees who were displaced between 1947 and 1948 — as well as all of their descendants — be allowed to return to modern day Israel following a final peace accord, The Washington Post also notes.
The U.S. administration believes Palestinians deserving to be given refugee status do not reach the five million figure claimed by the PA. For the Trump administration only half a million Palestinians qualify for the legitimate UN designation.