Washington, MINA – The United States State Department denied on Friday a report about freezing its funding worth $125 million for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). The department official denied the report published by Axios news site, saying that a final decision had not been made on the payment.
Days after President Donald Trump threatened to withhold future aid payments to Palestinians, Axios said the funding was frozen until the US government finishes its review of aid to the Palestinian Authority, UNA reported.
The sum, a third of the annual US donation to UNRWA, was supposed to be delivered by January 1, Axios said, citing three unidentified Western diplomats.
But the State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “That (Axios) story is very misleading. Just because they were expecting the money on the first, and they did not get it at that time, does not mean it was suspended or canceled. Deliberations are ongoing, and we have until mid-January to make a final decision.”Asked if any preliminary decision had been made, the official replied: “No. And reports to that effect are false.”
UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said the agency had not been “informed directly of a formal decision either way by the US administration.”
Trump threatened last week that he would withhold money from the Palestinians, accusing them of being “no longer willing to talk peace” with Israel.(R/R04/RS5)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)