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Whither UNRWA

The US State Department has issued a notice confirming the ending of US funding for UNRWA as what it describes as an irredeemably flawed organisation. Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Authority chairman described the notice as a grave assault on his people.

The US Administration has proposed transferring US contributions to UNRWA to the host countries (Lebanon, Jordan) for absorbing the refugees as citizens, instead of leaving the refugee issue on the negotiating table as what it describes as a constant obstacle to peace.

The notice is interesting not least because of President Trump's recent statement that after moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, he intended to give something good to the Palestinians.

UNRWA has rejected the accusation made by the US Administration that much of the funds goes to HAMAS for terrorist purposes. At the same time, the number of refugees has increased over the years  leading to an increase in demands on the funds.

Time will tell what the outcome will be.

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