US May Announce Cut In Funding To UNRWA For Palestinian Refugees

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The Trump administration will soon announce withdrawing of remaining funding to UN programme for Palestinian refugees and it seeks other countries to follow the same.

Some of the Washington insiders and senior officials at the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) anticipated it and lately US too announced to be cutting the $200 million fund from USAid, the country’s main development agency, for Gaza and other places where tens of thousands of people get help.

Currently more than 5 million Palestinians are getting help from the US funding in occupied territories and neighboring countries that includes Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

The new move of US comes following pledge of some of the European and Arab countries to protect UNRWA. Germany too talked about increasing financial backing.

It is learned the announcement would be targeting reduction in the number of refugees from five million to about 500,000. Only physically displaced Palestinians would be considered as refugees and others will be excluded.

Earlier this year US reduced its scheduled payment citing UNRWA need to make reforms and Palestinians to renew peace talks. The move was widely interpreted in Palestine as well as Israel as US is the largest donor to the agency.

Meanwhile, a retired major general and former national security adviser to the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said shutting down UNRWA would be the right move and with due respect to say the agency does not exist.

German foreign minister said, “The loss of this organization could unleash an uncontrollable chain reaction.”

Amid such circumstances and ongoing Middle East peace process one of the main issues is whether the refugees would be returning back to a future Palestinian state or else they need to be compensated.

Trump had earlier intervened on the Jerusalem issue favoring Israel by recognizing the city as the country’s capital.

International political experts believe the threat of US would force Palestinians to accept a peace plan and save money too in the form of aids. It is a deadly combination and correct political campaign pressure. However, there are others who view the move as non-performing and other ways need to be worked out in finding a solution to the refugee issue.

UNRWA was found in 1949.

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