Netanyahu Praises US for Axing UNRWA Funding

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has thrown his support behind the US decision to pull funding from the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA), accusing the aid group of inflating the number of refugees it assists.

Speaking at Yad Binyamin on Sunday, Netanyahu said UNRWA is perpetuating the plight of refugees and that by pulling funding, the US is finally beginning to solve the problem.

The US government announced on Friday that it deemed UNWRA to be irredeemably flawed, and would, therefore, withdraw all financial backing for the refugee group. In 2016, the US contributed US$355 million to UNWRA. Earlier this year, it released $60 million of its allocated funding for 2018, prior to announcing the cuts.

Other governments have responded to the US decision with disapproval, with the European Union calling it regrettable.

Ireland’s deputy prime minister, Simon Coveney, didn’t mince words when responding to the US move, calling Washington’s decision heartless and dangerous.

Germany also responded to the move, with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas saying it is currently preparing to provide an additional amount of significant funds to UNRWA, as losing the agency could unleash an uncontrollable chain reaction.

Jordan’s government also chimed in, with Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi saying his country will rally for support of the agency.

Some people took to Twitter to denounce Netanyahu’s declaration of US support, with many accusing the Israeli prime minister of being part of the problem.

Source: Palestine Chronicle