REPORT: U.S. wants to slash funding to UN agency in charge of Palestinian refugees

Over the last month, the Trump administration has threatened to reduce or cut funding to foreign nations. First it was many members of the United Nations. Then it was Pakistan and Palestine. Now it may be Palestinian refugees (SEE: FINALLY: Donald Trump threatens to cut off aid to Pakistan, Palestine).

According to the Associated Press, President Donald Trump is considering withholding tens of millions of dollars from a UN agency that handles Palestinian refugees.

Reportedly, the U.S. government would slash its first contribution by more than half to $60 million to the UN Relief and Works Agency. Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, wants to take it one step further: a complete cutoff of in U.S. money.

The purpose of the measure is to encourage the Palestinian leadership to re-enter peace talks with Israel.

More from the newswire:

Haley wants a complete cutoff in U.S. money until the Palestinians resume peace talks with Israel that have been frozen for years. But Tillerson, Mattis and others say ending all assistance would exacerbate instability in the Mideast, notably in Jordan, a host to hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees and a crucial U.S. strategic partner.

In another sign of the growing tensions in the region, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas railed at Trump in a fiery, two-hour-long speech on Sunday, saying “shame on you” for his treatment of the Palestinians and warning that he would have no problem rejecting what he suggested would be an unacceptable peace plan. The speech by Abbas ratcheted up what has been more than a month of harsh rhetoric toward Trump since the president’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

The U.S. is the Relief and Works Agency’s largest donor, supplying nearly 30 percent of its total budget. The agency focuses on providing health care, education and social services to Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians either fled or were forced from their homes during the war that led to Israel’s establishment in 1948. Today, there are an estimated 5 million refugees and their descendants, mostly scattered across the region.

Eliminating or sharply reducing the U.S. contribution could hamstring the agency and severely curtail its work, putting great pressure on Jordan and Lebanon as well as the Palestinian Authority. Gaza would be particularly hard hit. Some officials, including Israelis, warn that it might push people closer to the militant Hamas movement, which controls Gaza.

What many fail to realize is that the Palestinians and many states in the region do not want Israel to exist. There have been numerous peace talks over the years. Despite the various Israeli leaders over the decades making concessions, the Palestinians are never interested.

Why? Because the goal is to eradicate Israel, not cooperate with the country.

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