Israeli PM backs USA plan for UNRWA fund cuts

Violet Powell
January 14, 2018

In a pair of tweets, Trump said: "We pay the Palestinians hundreds of millions of dollars a year and get no appreciation or respect".

However, an unnamed U.S. official reportedly told Reuters that no official decision has been made yet.

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump tweeted he was considering halting payments to the PA.

Palestinian officials and other leaders in the Arab and Muslim worlds have said that the move essentially disqualified the USA from brokering peace talks in the region.

Palestinian officials on Sunday said they had been making an effort to gain European Union's (EU) recognition of the state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, after the U.S. recognised Jerusalem as Israeli capital.

The frozen amount represents more than a third of the $300 million the USA contributes to UNRWA annually.

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It says: "Never surrender to them".

"In response to the mortar shells fired at a military post adjacent to the northern Gaza Strip, (Israeli) tanks and (Israeli) aircraft targeted four Hamas military posts in the northern Gaza Strip", the army said in a statement.

The two groups are also at odds over the role of Iran and the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Some Palestinian officials call Trump's threat blackmail.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has privately urged Trump not scale back UNRWA's funding, the Times of Israel reported Thursday.

According to PCHR's investigations, at approximately 12:00 on Monday, 08 January 2018, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha Resort shore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. A senior Israeli official told him that the "humanitarian situation in Gaza is complicated enough and harming UNRWA funding will only make it more complicated".

While both groups are designated as terrorist organizations by the United States and Israel, IS sees Hamas as a nationalist movement that does not adhere to the strict interpretation of Islam. The agency provides education, social services and healthcare to more than 5 million Palestinian refugees.

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