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.”
— Ruptly (@Ruptly) September 2, 2018
“It is a very important thing. We have to cancel the refugee institution, we have to take the money and really help to rehabilitate the refugees, whose real number is only a tiny fraction of the number reported by UNRWA.”
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.
Netanyahu says it is necessary 'to abolish the refugee institution'https://t.co/VSXyKIrRQI
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) September 2, 2018
Other governments have responded to the US decision with disapproval, with the European Union calling it “regrettable.”
The EU wrote in a statement on Saturday:
“The regrettable decision of the US to no longer be part of this international and multilateral effort leaves a substantial gap and we hope that the US can reconsider their decision.”
— Ma'an News Agency (@MaanNewsAgency) September 2, 2018
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.”
— Newstalk (@NewstalkFM) September 1, 2018
Jordan’s government also chimed in, with Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi saying his country will rally for support of the agency.
He told Reuters:
“Disruption of UNRWA services will have extremely dangerous humanitarian, political and security implications for refugees and for the whole region.”
— Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) September 2, 2018
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.
(RT, PC, Social Media)