Humanitarian aid to Gaza
Humanitarian aid to GazaAbed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

The United States on Tuesday announced another $53 million in humanitarian assistance for Palestinian Arabs, though it bypassed UNRWA, the UN agency for “Palestinian refugees”, AFP reported.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) said the aid would go through the World Food Program and non-governmental groups rather than UNRWA.

Announcing the aid in a video from Jordan, USAID Administrator Samantha Power said the new assistance "has to reach people in need."

"The aid workers who on the ground in Gaza are risking their lives to get food to people in desperate, desperate need -- those aid workers have to be protected," she said.

"They have to know they can do their jobs without being shot at and killed," added Power.

The assistance brings total US emergency assistance to the Palestinian Arabs to $180 million since the massive October 7 attack by Hamas on Israel and the was in Gaza which followed.

The United States and a host of other countries recently announced they were temporarily pausing funding for UNRWA, after Israel presented evidence that 12 UNRWA employees were involved in the Hamas October 7 attack on Israel.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant recently told foreign reporters that Israel has found intelligence that more than 30 of UNRWA’s employees actively participated in the massacre, and assisted in the kidnapping of civilians and soldiers.

UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini has resisted Israel’s calls for him to step down and has instead continued to level accusations as Israel.

Last week, he accused Israel of aiming to “destroy” the organization, telling a Swiss newspaper that Israel has a “long-term political goal” of eliminating UNRWA.