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Arab League Drafts Response To Trump's Jerusalem Decision

13 January 2018
Arab League Drafts Response To Trump's Jerusalem Decision

Israeli Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu, supports a gradual cutback of the USA funding to the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees, according to Israeli reports.

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

Egypt continues to struggle to contain threats from a variety of regional foes, including the Palestinian militant group Hamas, Iran, and scattered ISIS militants in the Sinai Peninsula, a strip of land that links northeastern Egypt to southern Israel.

"This is the proper way to shut down UNRWA and to ensure that real refugee problems are cared for, should any remain [once UNHCR criteria for recognizing refugees are applied to the Palestinians]". "UNRWA was created upon a United Nations decision and no entity can affect its presence", said the official whose department provides services to meet the needs of Palestinian refugee camps communities in the Kingdom.

But analysts say that the aid helps maintain stability in a volatile region, and an unnamed Israeli security source told Channel 10 Friday that the USA funding cut would make the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza "much worse". The bitter pill for the Palestinians is that Israel's military prowess brings more to the table than does absolute support for the entire Palestinian narrative.

A report by the New York Times has said that while Egypt's government was publicly condemning a U.S. decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a state intelligence officer was asking influential TV hosts in the country to persuade their viewers to accept it.

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".

Further, Moscow indicated last April that it was willing to consider West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state, demonstrating a much greater desire to accommodate both sides than the Trump administration.

What those insisting on such a compromise outcome fail to take into account is that the vast majority of Israelis reject the notion of ever again dividing Jerusalem, and that most Palestinians deny that the Jewish people have any history in, and therefore claim to, the city.

"Contrary to reports that we have halted funding to UNRWA, the decision is under review", a State Department official told The Times of Israel.

The Palestinian official stressed that next steps are based on the reality that the interim period with Israel had come to an end, and there must be a new political formula with multilateral sponsorship for the peace process.

"The United States and Israel do not really seek to negotiate with the Arabs or the Palestinians; they only want to impose their conditions by the force of money", he pointed out.