Palestinan FM: US aid cut doesn't affect UN agency - Youth From Palestine

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Palestinan FM: US aid cut doesn't affect UN agency

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Last year, U.S. President Donald Trump cut Washington’s annual funding for UNRWA. The U.S. had been the agency’s largest contributor by far, providing it with $350 million each year -- roughly a quarter of its overall budget.

The U.S. decision to stop financial aids to a UN agency that support Palestinian refugees has not affected it works, the Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said.

According to the Anadolu Agency, al-Maliki thanked many countries led by Turkey for their contributions to UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency] to continue its services for Palestinian refugees.

Nearly one-third of the registered Palestinian refugees, more than 1.5 million individuals, live in 58 camps for refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, UNRWA said.

Denying the reports that Arab countries are in the process of normalizing ties with Israel, al-Maliki said: “The main requirement for normalization is the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem [al-Quds] as its capital on the 1967 borders.” 

“We will not bow to any pressure on the Palestine cause. It is our duty to defend the Islamic values in Jerusalem in the name of the Muslim Ummah and Arabs,” he said.

The Palestinian Authority has made great efforts to punish Israel's crimes against humanity in Gaza, al-Maliki added.

Some Arab states appear to be taking tentative steps toward normalizing relations with Israel.

These steps have reportedly included visits to Tel Aviv by Iraqi officials and Egypt's recent admission that it was coordinating security efforts with Israel in the volatile Sinai Peninsula.

Israeli officials in recent months have also reportedly visited a number of Arab countries, including one such visit to Oman in October by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Nearly 50 countries, including Israel and several Arab states, reportedly confirmed their participation in the “Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East,” held jointly by the U.S. and Poland, took place in Warsaw, Poland on Feb. 13-14.

On several occasions, Israeli officials have spoken of “positive change” vis-à-vis diplomatic normalization with the Arab world -- despite a continued lack of progress in the Israel-Palestine peace process.  


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