According to a report in the Washington Post on Thursday, the Trump administration will announce in the next few weeks that it is cancelling all US funding for the Palestinians’ dedicated UN agency.
By: World Israel News
On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump’s administration will make an announcement within the next several weeks that the US is halting all financial support for UNRWA, the United Nations agency created to serve Palestinian interests.
The administration has remained critical of UNRWA, with Trump senior Jared Kushner writing in an email in January, “It is important to have an honest and sincere effort to disrupt UNRWA, … [which] perpetuates a status quo, is corrupt, inefficient and doesn’t help peace,” reported Foreign Policy.
According to Trump administration officials who spoke to the Post on condition of anonymity, UNRWA will need to change both its rules and methods of operation if it seeks any additional funding from the US.
Among the grounds for persistent criticism of the agency are reports of UNRWA employing members of the Hamas terror group and permitting its schools to teach a curriculum that vilifies Israel, promotes anti-Semitism and opposes the peace process.
UNRWA has also been criticized for continuing to define successive generations of Palestinians as “refugees,” regardless of their citizenship or resettlement in other countries. This enables UNRWA to classify more than 5 million people as “refugees,” whereas its critics claim the real number is in the tens of thousands. Critics say that UNRWA’s strategy perpetuates the Palestinian “refugee” problem, instead of devising a solution for it.
Limiting the number of “refugees” would effectively remove the Palestinian “right of return” from the negotiating table, a demand that has remained a deal-breaker for Israel.
For over 70 years, UNRWA has funneled money to Palestinian organizations in various Middle Eastern countries, including Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. The US has remained UNRWA’s major benefactor and an end to American support for the agency could prove fatal.
Prior to the revelations regarding the Trump administrations imminent defunding of UNRWA, the US State Department announced it would “redirect” more than $200 million already appropriated for the Palestinians.