Biden restores help to Palestinians axed by Trump

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UNRWA
“The US is happy to announce that, working with Congress, we intend to revive U.S. financial, growth and humanitarian help for the Palestinian individuals,” Blinken mentioned.

Palestinian President Mahmoud AbbasCredit score:AP

The workplace of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has welcomed Biden’s dedication to a two-state answer and renewed assist. And Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh wrote on Twitter: “We name on the American administration to create a brand new political path that responds to the rights and aspirations of the Palestinian individuals.” the renewal of funding to UNRWA, saying it has allowed anti-Israel incitement and anti-Semitic exercise in its buildings.

“We imagine that this UN company for refugee calls shouldn’t exist in its present format,” he mentioned in a video posted on Twitter.

He mentioned that in talks with the State Division he had “expressed my disappointment and my objection to the choice to resume UNRWA funding” with out first assuring that reforms had been carried out.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, an in depth ally of Trump, has already demanded the dismantling of UNRWA.

UNRWA Commissioner-Common Philippe Lazzarini instructed Reuters that the brand new funding was “extraordinarily welcome” however mentioned the company “was not even out of the woods” at a time of rising refugee wants exacerbated by COVID. -19 and the disaster in Lebanon.

He mentioned UNRWA was an “straightforward whim” and that, though funding renewal was necessary, it was additionally necessary to acknowledge the US as a “strategic companion.”

“We’ve got been beneath vicious assaults with a transparent political objective behind it,” he mentioned. “We’re a humanitarian growth and humanitarian group working in a extremely politicized atmosphere.”

The United Nations has welcomed the resumption of UNRWA funding. “There have been plenty of international locations that had drastically lowered their contributions to UNRWA. Hopefully the American resolution will lead others to come back collectively … as UNRWA donors, ”UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric instructed reporters.

Blinken recommended that the Biden administration search reforms in UNRWA, which the Trump administration accused of inefficiencies, of over-relying on Palestinian refugees and of perpetuating the decades-long battle with Israel.

State Division spokesman Ned Worth insisted the help will probably be granted “completely in accordance” with American legislation. He spoke out in opposition to critics who expressed concern that funds might fall into the arms of militants, notably in Gaza, the place Hamas guidelines, saying there have been safeguards in place.

U.S. legislation additionally prohibits assist that advantages the Palestinian Authority so long as it continues to pay salaries to Palestinian prisoners held by Israel for anti-Israel assaults or to their households.

Blinken mentioned the US has additionally “resumed very important safety help packages” with the Palestinians.

The administration will be capable to maintain on for now to renew direct financial assist to the Palestinian Authority whereas Biden’s aides seek the advice of Congress on potential authorized obstacles, in accordance with an individual aware of the matter.

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The cash going to UNRWA won’t instantly return the contributions to the extent of $ 365 million that the US gave to the company in 2017.

Many of the refugees assisted by UNRWA are descendants of about 700,000 Palestinians who had been expelled from their properties or fled within the 1948 conflict that led to the creation of Israel.

The rising variety of refugees has been cited by the Trump administration in its 2018 defunding, with State Division spokeswoman Heather Nauert criticizing UNRWA for what it known as an “infinitely increasing and exponential neighborhood of beneficiaries. entitled “.

Reuters

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