With increasing radicalism within the Palestinian government, the Trump administration will cut all US funding to the United Nation’s aid program for Palestinian refugees, according to a report from Foreign Policy.
The newspaper reports that the administration disapproves of the way the UN Relief and Works Agency, or UNWRA, uses its funds. The Trump administration wants to reduce the number of Palestinians who claim refugee status. There are currently only 30,000 Palestinians still alive who left Israel during its war of independence in 1948. Those Arabs that left were not forced out by Israel but encouraged to leave by invading Arab nations who said they could return once the “Jews were forced into the seas.” The total destruction of Israeli Jews never happened and Israel won the war. But, the U.N. and Palestinian authority now consider all the descendants of those Palestinians to be “refugees.” They now number in the millions even though many of them are now citizens of other nations.
Anonymous sources later told The Washington Post that if the United Nations wants US funding for UNRWA, it must change the way the agency operates. The administration also wants European and Arab countries to contribute more to UNWRA’s funding. The US is currently UNRWA’s single largest donor, but President Trump reportedly wants that to change.
Earlier this year, the administration cut UNRWA’s scheduled payment of $130 million to just $65 million.
This latest report follows last week’s announcement by the US State Department that it will cut more than $200 million in bilateral aid to the Palestinian Authority. Israel’s Channel 2 news also reported that the administration will remove the Palestinian refugees’ “right of return” from the negotiating table.
“First of all, you’re looking at the fact that, yes, there’s an endless number of refugees that continue to get assistance, but more importantly, the Palestinians continue to bash America,” Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations said Tuesday.
Haley added that the Palestinian Authority “have their hand out wanting UNRWA money.”
The administration has yet to confirm its plans. However, a State Department spokesperson told says that “US policy regarding UNRWA has been under frequent evaluation and internal discussion.”