News Worms
News Worms

Arabs Seek Global Recognition Of Eastern Jerusalem As Palestinian Capital

Arabs Seek Global Recognition Of Eastern Jerusalem As Palestinian Capital

"I completely agree with (US President) Trump's sharp criticism of UNRWA", Netanyahu said ahead of a government meeting on Sunday.

"What perpetuates the refugee crisis is the failure of the parties to deal with the issue".

He was referring to Trump's tweet last week threatening to cut aid to the Palestinians, including to UNRWA, if Palestinians do not return to the negotiation table.

Netanyahu further argued that UNRWA should cease to exist.

Netanyahu has not yet made any public statements about the anticipated cut in USA funding to UNRWA, but Israeli media reports have said that the Israeli Prime Minister, wishing to avoid a humanitarian disaster in the Strip, has quietly urged Washington not to follow through on its threat. The little USA aid that does go to Palestine is the form of propping up the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, as a way of undermining Hamas. "As the President has said repeatedly, the administration is firmly committed to pursuing a comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians", the USA official said on condition of anonymity.

The US is now UNRWA's primary source of funding, giving the agency over $300 million per year.

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.

According to UNRWA website, the the largest donor to the agency as it annually provides about $370 million out of a total of around $874 million of funds the agency receives.

Haaretz said that Netanyahu's bureau over the weekend said that the prime minister "supports a critical approach by President Trump and believes that practical steps must be taken to change the situation in which UNRWA perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem instead of resolving it".

Earlier in the week, Trump complained on Twitter that "we pay the Palestinians HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect". "They don't even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel". With Israel now unashamedly formalising and expanding its occupation, it will take the efforts of millions of people like Tamimi to beat back this US-Israel nexus.

It was not immediately clear whether Trump was threatening the entirety of the budget, worth $319 million in 2016, according to U.S. government figures.

"There is a political decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and we will strive to reach an global political decision to recognise a Palestinian state ... with [East] Jerusalem as its capital", Jordanian foreign minister Ayman Safadi said, according to Agence France-Presse. Additionally, Egyptian Religious leaders refused to meet with Vice President Mike Pence and Egypt filed a proposal with the United Nations security council to have Trump's decision revoked.

UNRWA's spokesperson Chris Gunness said that "UNRWA is mandated by the UN General Assembly, which gives it broad and strong support for its humanitarian mission".

However, a senior USA administration official denied, on Sunday, that a decision has been made on cutting aid to UNRWA. A State Department disputed having a January 1 deadline to transfer the funds, though, telling Axios, "There are still deliberations taking place, and we have until mid-January to decide what we are going to do".


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