Netanyahu supports "gradual cutback" of USA funding to UNRWA

Sunday, 14 Jan, 2018

In his statements during the protest, Hafiz Al Karmi, Chairman of the PFB, said that the distinguished presence of non-Arab Muslims at the protests Britain affirms the universality of the Palestinian cause and the importance of Jerusalem to all Muslims in the world.

On Wednesday Trump threatened to cut $300 million in annual aid to the Palestinians in an attempt to force them to the negotiating table.

"I have made a simple proposal: UNRWA support funds need to be gradually shifted to the UNHCR, with clear criteria for supporting genuine refugees, not fictitious refugees as happens today under UNRWA", the Israeli prime minister said.

Also, SIS said that Saeed Hassaseen whose talk show stopped several weeks before the Jerusalem decision and who does not now present any other TV show.

UNRWA treats Palestinian refugees differently than other refugees around the world.

"Great-grandchildren of refugees, who are not refugees, but who are cared for by UNRWA", should not receive aid, he said Sunday. "This absurd situation must end".

The meeting came after US President Donald Trump's decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel on December 6, which enraged Palestinians and triggered weeks of unrest in the West Bank and Gaza.

Trump tweeted on January 2 that the US pays the Palestinians "HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year" and gets "no appreciation or respect" in return.

Yet it could also have a negative effect on Israel, which also relies on the Palestinian Authority to help maintain calm.

Israel captured eastern Jerusalem - which includes Judaism's holiest sites, the Temple Mount and the Western Wall in the Old City - and the West Bank in the 1967 defensive war, seizing it from Jordanian occupation and reuniting the city.

The United States is the largest donor to UNRWA, with a pledge of almost $370 million as of 2016, according to the organization's website. Critics have warned that thousands of children could turn to Hamas schools, for example, if UNRWA schools are forced to close.

Several Western diplomats confirmed that $125 million in financial assistance the U.S. was supposed to send to UNRWA by January 1 had been withheld.

The agency plays a significant role in supporting Palestinian refugees with access to education, healthcare, social services and employment in the occupied Palestinian territories, and in neighbouring states.

Mr Netanyahu made nearly identical comments about dismantling UNRWA in June - a message he said at the time he had conveyed to the USA ambassador to the United Nations.

"This needs to be resolved by the parties to the conflict in the context of peace talks, based on United Nations resolutions and worldwide law".