Netanyahu supports "gradual cutback" of United States funding to UNRWA

Serious mistake to cut US aid to Palestinians

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged the United States to gradually reduce its support for the UN's aid agency for the Palestinians by transferring that aid money to the UN's other refugee agency, UNHCR, which supports all other refugee groups. An Israeli security source told Channel 10 on Friday the funding cuts to UNRWA would make an already tense situation in Gaza "much worse". "Behind the scenes, the prime minister is now in contact with the Americans in order to prevent the massive cut [in USA funding for UNRWA] - to prevent it, you heard it right", the Times of Israel quoted an Israeli TV broadcaster saying.

Amman is concerned that potential unrest in the Palestinian territories could spill over into Jordan, which has a sizeable Palestinian population that originally flooded into the country in the aftermath of the 1948 and 1967 wars.

On Wednesday Trump threatened to cut $300 million in annual aid to the Palestinians in an attempt to force them to the negotiating table. "UNRWA was created upon a United Nations decision and no entity can affect its presence", said the official whose department provides services to meet the needs of Palestinian refugee camps communities in the Kingdom.

The protestors condemned the United States policy which biased to the Israeli occupation and they expressed their solidarity with the Palestinian people and the Palestinian detainees' families.

"They don't even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel", the USA leader added.

Of course, Trump himself said as much in his speech a month earlier, but saw no reason to not, in the meantime, recognize the obvious - that at least the western half of Jerusalem is and has always been the capital of Israel.

Jordan said on Saturday the Arab League would seek global recognition of the Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital after Washington recognized the Holy City as Israel's capital. Since then, it has been promoting the Palestinian cause, funding as many as five million "refugees" - the majority of whom never left the homes where they were born in the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria, eastern Jerusalem or Arab countries - to the tune of $1.23 billion annually.

The Israeli government has long looked at the agency, known as UNRWA, with a jaundiced eye, seeing the agency as biased against Israel.

However, a senior United States administration official denied, on Sunday, that a decision has been made on cutting aid to UNRWA.

The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future independent state, while Israel wants an integral Jerusalem to be its eternal capital.

The Palestinian official stressed that next steps are based on the reality that the interim period with Israel had come to an end, and there must be a new political formula with multilateral sponsorship for the peace process.

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