UNRWA must continue serving refugee communities - FM

UNRWA must continue serving refugee communities - FM

Sweden, a big donor country that has recognized a Palestinian state, warned Tuesday that any USA decision to withdraw funds to the United Nations agency for Palestinians would be destabilizing for the Middle East.

Human Rights Watch criticized the U.S. administration's decision to stop USA aid to United Nations for Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) describing that as blackmailing Palestinians for the food and education of refugee children.

"Another recognition of UNRWA's role is our financial donations of ten million of United States dollars to its budget in 2017-2021".

The Swedish ambassador said he did not rule out raising the issue at the Security Council, which is scheduled to hold its regular meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on January 25.

Haley and the administration were also angered by action at the UN General Assembly in December, in which member states voted 128-9 to condemn Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the USA embassy there from Tel Aviv.

"We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect", he tweeted.

"They don't even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel". A few days later, the Axios news portal said citing diplomatic sources that Washington had frozen $125 million in funding for the UNRWA.

Sweden was the first EU country to recognize a Palestinian state in 2014 and is among the top 10 donors to UNRWA along with the United States, the European Union, Saudi Arabia, Germany and Britain.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said hailing the USA step that the agency should be shut down and its funding should be shifted to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The foreign minister made his remarks as he met with UNRWA Commissioner-General, Pierre Krahenbuhl.

Palestinians condemned the decision, stressing that the United States has no credibility as a Middle East peace broker.

The minister said it was the duty of the entire worldwide community to support UNRWA until the plight of the Palestinian refugees is resolved in line with the global legitimacy resolutions.

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