UNRWAAbed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

An agreement reached by US congressional leaders and the White House on a bill funding military, State Department and a range of other government programs will continue a ban on US funding for UNRWA until March 2025, two sources said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

The US and a host of other countries announced they would temporarily pause funding to UNRWA, the UN agency for “Palestinian refugees” in January, after Israel said that 12 UNRWA staff had taken part in Hamas’ October 7 attack.

Among other things, Israel said those workers kidnapped a woman, handed out ammunition and took an active part in the massacre at Kibbutz Be’eri, where 97 people were murdered.

The US Senate passed legislation last month cutting off funding for the agency, part of a $95 billion bill providing aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan that has stalled in the House of Representatives.

Backers of the aid have been trying to get it restored, calling on Washington to support the relief body as aid groups work to ward off famine in Gaza.

The two sources familiar with the agreement said the funding would be blocked for a year, and that details of alternative efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Palestinian Arabs in Gaza would be discussed after the legislation is made public.

Under the Trump administration, the US cut a full $300 million in funding to the agency in 2018. The Biden administration, however, changed the policy and announced it intends to resume aid to UNRWA.

Last year, the US increased its financial support for UNRWA, reaching a record $223 million, an increase of $16 million on the previous year.