MK Sharren Haskel (Likud), chair of the Knesset Lobby for Reform with UNRWA, welcomed on Tuesday evening the U.S. decision to cut half its funding to the agency.
“I welcome the American decision to cut $60 million from its funding to UNRWA,” she said. "[Palestinian Authority chairman] Mahmoud Abbas revealed his true face to the world and said in his speech what we knew long ago, [that he is] the leader of a terrorist organization, an anti-Semite and a Holocaust denier."
"It is no wonder that there is a system of anti-Israel incitement in UNRWA's educational institutions, which has become an arm of the Palestinian Authority," continued Haskel.
"UNRWA is supposed to be the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, but the organization fails to fulfill its goal," she said. “Instead of using donations from countries around the world to find a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem, UNRWA acts as a protector of terrorism, channels funds to terror and plants roots of violence and hatred. Hamas training camps are located in its schools, weapons caches and terrorist tunnels are hidden underneath its institutions, and it employs Hamas members among its ranks.”
"The funding for UNRWA must be gradually reduced and the funds channeled for humanitarian purposes that will create stability in the Middle East," concluded Haskel.
Tuesday’s announcement from the State Department came after the U.S. had frozen a $125 million grant to UNRWA earlier this month, amounting to one third of the U.S. annual aid to the organization.
The move follows recent tweets by President Donald Trump in which he questioned the wisdom of providing hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority given their refusal to resume peace talks with Israel.
The United States is the largest single donor to UNRWA, providing approximately a fourth of the organization's budget.
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.