The decision of the United States to cut its funds to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees, indicates the end of its role for continuing to sponsor the Palestinian-Israeli peace process that it adopted since 1991, said the head of the parliamentary committee of foreign affairs Tarek Radwan on Tuesday.
Radwan commented on the US decision by stressing that the attention of the US administration to the Palestinian cause has been reduced, in addition to solving the conflict in the Middle East.
“It has been clearly biased to the Israeli side for decades, even though Israel has not fulfilled its obligations. Since the US administration took over, US President Donald Trump has begun to dim on the peace process,” he said.
A few days ago, acting under secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Heather Nauert, said that the US administration carefully reviewed the matter and concluded that the US would not make additional contributions to the UNRWA, and directed harsh criticism of the agency’s way of work, saying it is “irreparably flawed,” which exhibit the possibility that there are causes beyond the reason of the decision.
The UNRWA supports over 5,000,000 million people through health, education, and social services in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the Gaza Strip, also via health care, education, and social services.
Meanwhile, the UNRWA responded to the decision by saying that the move was “disappointing and surprising.” The UNRWA spokesperson, Chris Gunnees, in a series of tweets on Twitter expressed, “we strongly reject critical criticism of UNRWA schools, health centres, and emergency assistance programs “irredeemably flawed.”
Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass, said that Germany would increase its contributions to the UNRWA because its funding crisis would fuel problems, adding that “the loss of this organisation can unleash a series of uncontrollable reactions.”
The UNRWA began its operations in May 1950, after which its functions were renewed periodically, most recently in June 2017. The US was the largest donor to the UNRWA, providing $368m in 2016 and funding nearly 30% of its operations. The UNRWA also receives relevant support through voluntary contributions from member states of the United Nations.