Arab states to push for east Jerusalem as Palestine capital


The US froze a $125 million grant to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Israel's Channel 10 News and the American Axios news site reported on Friday. Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, later told reporters the administration would cut off aid if the Palestinians refused to take part in peace talks with Israel.

UNRWA, which is suffering from shortage in budget, is appealing for $400 million in aid to meet humanitarian demands by Palestinian refugees, whose number has reached over 5 million since 1948, particularly in conflict areas such as Gaza and Syria.

He was referring to Trump's tweet last week threatening to cut aid to the Palestinians, including to UNRWA, if Palestinians do not return to the negotiation table.

The protestors condemned the USA policy which biased to the Israeli occupation and they expressed their solidarity with the Palestinian people and the Palestinian detainees' families.

Over the weekend, a statement issued by Netanyahu's office said that the Prime Minister "supports President Trump's critical attitude towards UNRWA and believes practical steps need to be taken in order to change the fact that UNRWA is being used to entrench the Palestinian refugee problem instead of solving it".

Israel has often criticized UNRWA of sheltering terrorists and perpetuating the plight of Palestinians throughout the Middle East by allowing them to maintain their status as refugees.

A report by the New York Times has said that while Egypt's government was publicly condemning a U.S. decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a state intelligence officer was asking influential TV hosts in the country to persuade their viewers to accept it. With Israel now unashamedly formalising and expanding its occupation, it will take the efforts of millions of people like Tamimi to beat back this US-Israel nexus. "The UN has an agency for dealing with refugees in the rest of the world".

In this regard, Abu Hasna said that UNRWA was not informed of any official United States decision to halt financial aid.

"The United States and Israel do not really seek to negotiate with the Arabs or the Palestinians; they only want to impose their conditions by the force of money", he pointed out.

Trump made the announcement after the Palestinian Authority rejected his decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announced that the USA is no longer welcome as a peace broker.

Peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis have been stalled since 2014 due to Israel's continued expansion of Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories.

A statement issued by Egypt's foreign ministry said the two top diplomats underlined the importance of maintaining the historical and legal status of Jerusalem.