Palestinians deeply concerned over stopping international aid to UNRWA


GAZA, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) – The Palestinians expressed on Friday deep concerns over stopping international aid and donations that United Nations for Relief and Work Agency for Palestinian refugees in the Far East (UNRWA) depends on.

Jamal al-Khudari, chairman of the Palestinian Popular Committee to Defeat the Siege said in an emailed press statement that cutting international aid and donations to UNRWA would risk the life of 75 percent of Palestinian refugees.

“More than a million Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip are living on humanitarian aid provided by UNRWA, therefore cutting the aid would endanger their life and would mean a real humanitarian disaster,” he said.

Al-Khudari’s remarks were made following United States threats that it would stop its financial aid to UNRWA in case the Palestinians refrain from returning to the negotiations table with Israel.

The Palestinian lawmaker called on the U.S. to regret its threats, warning that “this would get the Palestinian refugee camps and the refugees into a disastrous situation.”

Palestinian leaders had repeatedly announced that the U.S. is not anymore a sponsor for the Middle East peace process in protest to U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

Reports had earlier said that the U.S. threatened to stop paying financial donations to UNRWA if the Palestinians keep refusing to negotiate with Israel.

The U.S. donates every year 364 million dollars to UNRWA, which was found in 1949 and provides humanitarian services and aid to around 5 million refugees living in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

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