Derry's Martina Anderson hits out at Donald Trump over Palestine

Herbert Rhodes
January 19, 2018

The Norwegian Refugee Council, an independent humanitarian organization that works in 31 countries, said the funding cut will have "devastating consequences for vulnerable Palestinian refugees across the Middle East". But the United States has yet to cut a check, leaving the U.N. agency responsible for Palestinian refugees in limbo, according to diplomatic sources.

The statement added that the funds would be dispersed immediately, given the acute financial difficulties faced by the organisation.

The United States government has informed the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) of its intention to initially contribute just $60 million of the planned first installment of $125 million for 2018.

"UNRWA has proven time and again to be an agency that misuses the humanitarian aid of the worldwide community and instead supports anti-Israel propaganda, perpetuates the plight of Palestinian refugees and encourages hate", Danon said in a statement Tuesday.

"I have a lot of respect for UNRWA's work, which has to operate in the most hard and unsafe circumstances", De Croo said in his statement. "Living conditions in Gaza, Syria, the West bank and elsewhere in the region are particularly tough", De Croo said in the statement.

The fate of Palestinian refugees have always been considered a final status issue to be determined in a negotiations process. With the help of UNRWA half a million of Palestine children are able to go to school. "This prevents them from falling prey to radicalization and extreme violence".

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The US has announced that it will hold back more than half of the funding it provides for a United Nations agency that supports Palestinians, about two weeks after President Donald Trump threatened to pull funding for the group.

"In a series of tweets, Trump had said: ". "We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect", said the head of state. "[W] ith the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?" "We would like other countries - in fact, other countries that criticize the United States ... to step forward and actually help with UNRWA, to do more", she said. They're saying they no longer want to have anything to do with us.

Belgium, together with other European Union member states, is now UNRWA's largest donor.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said earlier this month the White House wanted to defund UNRWA outright.

Neither Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas or Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have made comments since the funding cut was announced.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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