US to Suspend UNRWA Funding until March 2025 – Reports

Israel targets UNRWA-run centers despite previous coordination. (Photo: via UNRWA)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

To date, Israel has not provided evidence to back the allegations. Furthermore, 168 UNRWA employees have been killed in Israel’s assault on the besieged enclave since October.

An agreement reached by United States congressional leaders and the White House on a massive appropriations bill earmarking funds for the military, State Department, and other government programs will continue to bar US funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) until 2025, according to media reports.

The Reuters news agency cited two sources familiar with the agreement as having said that funding will remain blocked for one year, with discussions on alternative approaches to providing humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza set to occur after the legislation is disclosed publicly.

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Moreover, the US Senate last month passed legislation withholding funding for the agency as part of a $95 billion bill aimed at sending aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan; however, this bill has encountered a delay in the House of Representatives.

“Three sources with knowledge of the negotiations” also confirmed to CBS News that the deal “will include a ban on all direct US funding for the main humanitarian agency operating in Gaza.”

The White House “did not mention the cut in aid when it voiced broad support Tuesday for the deal in principle reached with Congress, which President Biden pledged to sign immediately if passed,” CBS News said.

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Israel’s Allegations

The US, along with more than a dozen other countries suspended funding to UNRWA at the end of January following Israeli allegations that some of its employees were involved in the October 7 resistance operation.

The UN appointed an independent panel to conduct an assessment of UNRWA following the accusations.  To date, Israel has not provided evidence to back the allegations. Furthermore, 168 UNRWA employees have been killed in Israel’s assault on the besieged enclave since October.

According to Reuters, the US wants to see the results of that investigation and “corrective measures taken before it will consider resuming funding.”

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The White House and congressional leaders declined to comment on details of the agreement until the spending bills’ texts are made public, Reuters said.

‘Famine Imminent’

Washington’s decision to extend its suspension of UNRWA funding comes as the agency’s Commissioner-General Phillipe Lazzarini warned two days ago that “Famine is imminent in the northern Gaza Strip, expected to arrive between now and May.”

“Two million people = the entire population of Gaza is facing crisis levels of food insecurity or worse,” he said on X.

Late last month, fifty members of the US Congress called for the full restoration of US funding for UNRWA, saying “to prohibit or reduce UNRWA funding will significantly erode the United States’ ability to provide life-saving assistance and minimal social structure to Gaza’s 2.2 million people.”

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Rep Pramila Jayapal, one of the congress members who led the call said defunding UNRWA “which has been on the frontlines of conflict in Gaza, is especially irresponsible and unacceptable given our country’s historic role as the largest contributor to UNRWA.”

Close to 32,000 Killed

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 31,988 Palestinians have been killed, and 74,188 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

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Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire.’


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