Pompeo’s statement on the Israeli settlements marks the latest departure from previous anchors of US policy on the Israel-Palestine issue. By effectively endorsing the settlements, the Trump administration has signalled a green light for their continued expansion. As a result, further Palestinian displacement is virtually guaranteed.
Results for Tag: UNRWA
The crisis hitting UNRWA is therefore not just a crisis of funding or misconduct, but is connected to attitudes towards its existence due to its symbolic affiliation with the right of return. Global support for the organisation still remains high but the risk of Israeli and US pressure securing the severance of its mandate looms nearby, and this could have serious effects on those who use its services.
What Oslo did not do was provide a detailed road-map for final status negotiations, which were to be completed within five years. This would deal with the vexed issues of refugees, Jerusalem, demilitarisation of the Palestinian areas in the event of a two-state settlement, and anything but an implied acknowledgement of territorial compromise, including land swaps, that would be needed to bring about a lasting agreement.
All the evidence points to the UNRWA crisis being mainly political, not financial. It therefore requires a political decision by the UN either to maintain UNRWA’s current mandate to provide humanitarian assistance to Palestinian refugees around the world, or to revoke its commitment to the agency and transfer the responsibility for Palestinian refugees to the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.
If the Trump administration follows through on its threats, it could mean the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in funding from the United States (US) that goes to education, health care and food aid for Palestinian refugees via the United Nations Relief Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) which is already on shaky financial ground.