Ambassador Haley: UNWRA Can Stay, But Must Offer Accurate Number of Refugees

Protesters one waving a Palestinian flag chant slogans during a demonstration near Israel's consulate in Istanbul Tuesday

Protesters one waving a Palestinian flag chant slogans during a demonstration near Israel's consulate in Istanbul Tuesday

According to the TV report, the United States government will "effectively" reject the Palestinian "right of return", possibly the biggest sticking point in the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Dave Harden, a former U.S. Agency for International Development official briefed on the meeting between Kushner and Pompeo, said the decision would potentially benefit hard-liners in the region, including the Palestinian Islamic group Hamas.

"The decision is risky, with unpredictable consequences". Opponents of the steep cuts fear the USA retreat would stoke instability in the region. They have to - they're the ones that fight me every day on Israel issues. The proposal, to be announced next month, will be part of a new strategy that will also involve reductions in the large amounts of money the USA gives to the Palestinian territories.

Last week the Trump Administration announced it would cut $200 million in USA aid to the Palestinian Authority until it will receive assurances the PA and Hamas will spend the aid to improve the lives of Palestinians and not on funding terrorism directed at Israel.

Palestinians are furious over a decision by the U.S. to move its embassy to Jerusalem, a move that effectively recognises Israel's illegal claims to the contested city. Those funds will be redirected to other humanitarian crises.

The administration will also change the US position on Palestinian refugees. Mercy Corps is one of the charities that will lose funding as a result of last week's announcement.

The plan to cut US funding has been championed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but military officials cautioned Israeli Cabinet members over the weekend that a swift demise of UNRWA in Gaza could create a vacuum that Hamas would fill, Haaretz reported. The goal of such a change, the TV report said, would be to prevent Arab nations from legitimately channeling aid to UNRWA in the West Bank.

Fire evacuations lifted for Canada’s Waterton Lakes park
The fire remains in the Boundary Creek Valley of Glacier National Park and is about seven kilometres from the Waterton townsite. Cooler temperatures and rainfall forecast for Sunday night into Monday were expected to slow but not extinguish the blaze.

According to UNWRA, this totals five million Palestinian refugees.

"The Palestinians continue to bash America...this is the government, not the people", but "they have their hand out wanting UNRWA money", she said. Jordan rebuffed the proposal.

UNRWA was established in 1949 to provide relief and protection for more than 700,000 Palestinians displaced from what is now Israel during the Arab-Israeli War.

The PA claims there are now 5,3 million Palestinian "refugees" and has always demanded the not-existing "right of return" for them while UNRWA takes care 809,738 registered "refugees" who still live in 19 refugee camps in Judea and Samaria, Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

"UNRWA can stay there, and we will be a donor if it reforms what it does", Ambassador Haley said.

The United States had been providing UNRWA with some $350 million a year, more than any other country, but as part of a series of cuts in foreign aid to the Palestinians, the White House announced in January that it would withhold $65 million in assistance from the aid agency.

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