Middle East Monitor / April 9, 2021
Senior Israeli officials have criticised the US’ decision to resume financial aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
The Israeli Ambassador to the United States and the UN, Gilad Erdan, said: “Israel is strongly opposed to the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activity happening in UNRWA’s facilities,” adding that Tel Aviv “believes that UNRWA should be deleted in its current form and its constant incitement, in addition to its wrong policy in defining a refugee.”
“We believe that this UN agency for so-called “refugees” should not exist in its current format. UNRWA schools regularly use materials that incite against Israel and the twisted definition used by the agency to determine who is a “refugee” only perpetuates the conflict,” Erdan claimed, noting that he had warned the State Department of the danger of such activity, particularly without ensuring that “incitement” and “anti-Semitic content” are removed from UNRWA’s educational curriculum.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lior Haiat, said the renewal of UNRWA assistance “must be accompanied by substantial and necessary changes in the nature, goals and conduct of the organization”.
Earlier on Wednesday, the United States announced plans to resume financial aid to the Palestinians and UNRWA.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States would provide $150 million in humanitarian assistance to UNRWA.
Blinken explained that the US also plans to provide the Palestinians with $75 million in economic and development assistance for the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as $10 million for peacebuilding programmes through the USAgency for International Development (USAID).