The US Government Withholds $65 million In Financial Aid to Palestine

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The Trump administration is withholding more than half of the £90 million that is set out as relief from the United Nations to the government and people of Palestine. The US government officials said that they are going to release $60 million to the UNRWA which stands for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency but would hold back the remaining $65 million of the installment destined for Islamabad. An official from the United Nations noted that the withholding of such funds for the relief agency would have catastrophic consequences to hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Palestinian nationals.

The US president Donald Trump has been recorded before saying that they had cut off financial assistance to Palestine because they rejected to negotiate a lasting peaceful solution with Israel. The US government funds more than 30% of all the relief provided by the United Nations to the vulnerable citizenry of Palestine. The Trump administration funds UNRWA to the tune of $370 million in 2017 alone. The funds that have been withheld by the American government are part of this year’s initial installment. The president of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, on Sunday attacked the move by President Trump to interfere with the peace process between then and Israel.

President Abbas noted that Palestine would no longer accept the lead role that the US government played in the mediation of the peace process between them and Israel after the Trump administration announced that they were going to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel formally. Abbas also place the blame on Tel Aviv saying that they had abandoned the Oslo Accords of 1994 which was the beginning of the peace process between Palestine and Israel. A spokesperson from the US State Department, Heather Nauert said that the move to withhold aid to Palestine was never aimed to be a punishment to anyone.

Mr. Nauert said that it was a move that was motivated by the United States desire to drive reforms at the agency. He added that the withheld amount would be kept intact for future considerations. Another official told reports that it was time for the other rich countries in the community of nations to step in and contribute to advancing the regional stability and security in the Middle East. The move comes just a fortnight after the US president said that the US does not get any form of respect or appreciation from the aid it gives to countries that are torn by conflict or natural disaster.

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