Palestinians have denounced reported U.S. attempts to undercut the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) which serves several million Palestinian refugees and their descendants.
The U.S.-based Foreign Policy magazine has reported that Jared Kushner, Mideast adviser to President Donald Trump, called in an email this year for a "sincere effort to disrupt" the agency.
In previous U.S.-led negotiations, the fate of Palestinian refugees and contested Jerusalem were to be settled in a peace deal. Palestinian officials now fear that the Trump administration is moving unilaterally to settle these issues in Israel's favor.
Nabil Shaath, an adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, alleged Sunday that the Trump administration is "pushing to impose facts on the ground, by realizing all of Israel's demands."
Abbas' office said Saturday it would "foil conspiracies to end the Palestinian cause."
Last month, UNRWA terminated the permanent contracts of hundreds of employees and replace them with temporary contracts, a move which triggered protests.
On June, UNRWA was forced to end its emergency food program, a move that will likely have an adverse impact on food assistance provided to 1.3 million Palestinian refugees in the blockaded Gaza. UNRWA has struggled with a severe crisis since the U.S. suspended $65 million in promised financial aid late last year. According to the U.N., UNRWA requires some $250 million per year to implement all of its aid programs.
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