Photo Credit: YouTube screen capture / UN briefing
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told reporters at a briefing held at the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday that President Donald Trump has decided there will be no more funding from the United States for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), until Ramallah returns to the peace process. The agency is tasked with providing basic aid to Palestinian Authority citizens registered as “refugees.”

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“The President has basically said that he doesn’t want to give any additional funding, until the Palestinians are agreeing to come back to the negotiation table,” Nikki Haley said.

“And what we saw with the resolution was not helpful to the situation,” she added.

“We’re trying to move for a peace process, but if that doesn’t happen, the president is not going to continue to fund that situation.”

It wasn’t clear from Haley’s remarks whether the cutoff was made solely to UNRWA funds, or if the president is also contemplating an end to USAID and other forms of foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority as well.

UNRWA has made a point of perpetuating the refugee status of the descendants of those who fled their homes during the war that took place when surrounding Arab nations attacked Israel after the declaration of the establishment of the state in May 1948.

Those who fled to different Arab lands were never absorbed by their Arab “brothers” but instead were eternally held at arms’ length, to be used as political pawns against the State of Israel. Instead of fighting this terrible injustice, UNRWA has targeted Israel and used the opportunity to create a self-perpetuating agency rather than seek ways to help the refugees acquire citizenship in the host countries where they have lived for decades and in some cases, for their entire lives.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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