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giftedviz.com January 19, 2018


Netanyahu back United States cuts to UNRWA, but says they should be 'gradual'

07 January 2018, 03:29 | Darnell Patrick

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UNRWA is an organization that perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem, and perpetuates also the narrative of the so-called right of return, whose goal is the elimination of Israel.

Netanyahu has not yet made any public statements about the anticipated cut in USA funding to UNRWA, but Israeli media reports have said that the Israeli Prime Minister, wishing to avoid a humanitarian disaster in the Strip, has quietly urged Washington not to follow through on its threat.

UNWRA sources in the Gaza Strip and West Bank told Israel's Haaretz daily that a cut in United States funding to the agency would threaten the jobs of some 12,000 teachers in the Palestinian territories and the jobs of over 20,000 teachers in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.

Earlier this week, President Trump tweeted: "We pay hundreds of millions of dollars a year and get no appreciation or respect". An Israeli security source told Channel 10 on Friday the funding cuts to UNRWA would make an already tense situation in Gaza "much worse".

Earlier this week Trump said on Twitter that his government should stop the aid to the Palestinian government and to the United Nations aid agency because they are "no longer willing to talk peace" with Israel.

But analysts say that the aid helps maintain stability in a volatile region, and an unnamed Israeli security source told Channel 10 Friday that the USA funding cut would make the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza "much worse".

Most nations view the status of Jerusalem, parts of which are claimed by the Palestinians, as an issue to be determined in peace negotiations.

Days after President Donald Trump threatened to withhold future aid payments to Palestinians, Axios said the funding was frozen until the USA government finishes its review of aid to the Palestinian Authority.

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Ties between the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and the United Stated have worsened since Trump's December acknowledgment of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move that has angered millions of Arabs and Muslims across the globe.

The declaration led Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to break off all contact with the Trump administration, and he has refused to meet with U.S. officials regarding the peace process, including envoy Jason Greenblatt and Vice President Mike Pence, angering the administration.

If UNRWA did not have the resources to provide essential services to Palestinian refugees, the burden would fall upon Israel as the occupying power, in the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, at least.

"Contrary to reports that we have halted funding to UNRWA, the decision is under review", a State Department official told The Times of Israel.

On Friday, senior U.S. officials denied reports that $125 million in aid to the UN's Palestinian refugee agency had been frozen.

The status of Jerusalem is among the most contentious in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It sees the entire city as its indivisible capital, while the Palestinians want the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.

Trump said on Tuesday he would withhold money from the Palestinians, accusing them of being "no longer willing to talk peace" with Israel.



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