Sci-tech

USA aid funding for Palestinians thrown into doubt by $65m payment 'freeze'

USA aid funding for Palestinians thrown into doubt by $65m payment 'freeze'

UNRWA delivers vital humanitarian and development assistance, effecting significant accomplishments for millions of refugees within its five fields of work (the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria).

"The U.S. Administration seems to be following Netanyahu's instructions to gradually dismantle the one agency that was established by the worldwide community to protect the rights of the Palestinian refugees and provide them with essential services", the PLO said in a statement.

Officials said the compromise would allow UNRWA schools and clinics in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, in Gaza and in neighboring Arab countries to remain open for now.

The Middle East Forum has long pressed for a tightening of requirements for the "Palestine refugee" status, seeing this as both improving Palestinian lives and diminishing the threat to Israel. De Croo said the allocation was made in response to the US funding cut which left UNRWA with a payment of just $60 million for the first of two annual contributions to its budget.

When asked if the decision to cut the UNRWA funding was related to Trump's January 2 threat to end the aid, which he broadcasted via Twitter, Nauert refused to comment. "When we say that we're basically looking at the fact that you've got, basically they're considering Palestinian as a refugee".

"This is not aimed at punishing anyone", spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters.

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President Abbas noted that Palestine would no longer accept the lead role that the USA government played in the mediation of the peace process between them and Israel after the Trump administration announced that they were going to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel formally. "O$3 ur main point today is asking other countries to step up to the plate, not making the United States be the single largest donor or the sole donor, and other countries to step in and do more". Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians either fled or were forced from their homes during the war that led to Israel's establishment in 1948. But she reversed course after the Palestinians introduced resolutions at the U.N. Security Council and the General Assembly that denounced Trump's recognition of Jerusalem and called on the United States to rescind the decision. "So we're asking other countries to do more".

Israeli officials have accused UNRWA of misusing humanitarian aid and supporting anti-Israel propaganda.

The Alliance of Baptists' Community for Justice in Palestine & Israel urged members to write letters asking Congress to reject any USA funding cuts for UNRWA and to reverse the administration's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The US government decided yesterday to suspend half of its support to UNRWA.

He said the $60 million would keep schools and hospitals open for now, but noted that it was dramatically lower than the $350 million Washington paid over the course of 2017.

UNRWA's secretary-general, Pierre Krähenbühl, said the fundraising appeal would begin in the coming days.