UNRWA spokesman: We weren't informed of American cuts

Official spokesman of UNRWA says the agency has not received any word from the U.S. that it intends to cut its funding.

Dalit Halevi ,

UNRWA HQ in Gaza
UNRWA HQ in Gaza
Flash 90

Sami Mshasha, the official spokesman of UNRWA, the UN’s agency for “Palestinian refugees”, on Wednesday responded to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who threatened to stop funding for UNRWA if the Palestinian Authority (PA) refuses to resume negotiations with Israel.

Mshasha said in a statement that UNRWA had not received any update from the U.S. administration regarding a change in its policy vis-à-vis the funding allocated to the organization.

He said that UNRWA was working with all its partners in order to obtain the necessary funding to cover the expenses for the Palestinian "refugees" for 2018.

The United States provides UNRWA with annual assistance of $364 million, compared with $143 million from the European Union, $76 million from Germany and $61 million from Sweden.

Haley on Tuesday included UNRWA in her warning to the PA, when she said the PA risked losing the hundreds of millions of dollars in aid it receives from the United States if it continues to shun peace negotiations.

Hours later, President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that the PA does not show the United States appreciation or respect, hinting that due to this fact, it does not deserve the large amounts of aid it received from the U.S. annually.

“It's not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing, but also many other countries, and others. As an example, we pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel,” he tweeted.

“We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more. But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?” added Trump.

For years, UNRWA has been a target for criticism in light of Hamas's activity in its educational institutions and the use of its facilities by Palestinian Arab terrorist organizations in Gaza.

UNRWA was documented storing Hamas rockets and weapons "designed to kill Israeli citizens" in its schools, a fact which the UNRWA chief admitted himself.

In addition, the organization has actively taken part in inciting anti-Semitic violence.