Following the Palestinians’ condemnation of the normalization deals between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, the UAE have massively cut back funding for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Israeli Channel 12 news reported on Friday.
The Center for Near East Policy Research, an Israeli NGO, said that while the UAE sent the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) $53 million in 2018 and $51 million in 2019, it provided the agency a mere $1 million in 2020, as the UNRWA confirmed the data to Channel 12.
The report said that Bahrain also had cut funds, but no figures were provided.
Israel’ normalized ties with the UAE last September, a move that was followed by Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.
Palestinians condemned the normalization agreements, saying they encouraged Israel’s denial of their rights and do not serve the Palestinian cause, describing them as a “stab in the back” and a “betrayal.”
In 2018, the Trump administration had cut financial aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), a UN body that supports more than 5 million Palestinian refugees, and also slashed an aid of more than $200 million to Palestine in the same year.
In January, however, the US Ambassador to the UN Richard Mills said the Biden administration was renewing US relations with the Palestinian leadership, and restoring “credible engagement” with the Palestinians, as it works toward a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“The Biden administration will restore credible US engagement with Palestinians as well as Israelis. This will involve renewing US relations with the Palestinian leadership and Palestinian people, relations which have atrophied over the last four years,” he said.
He added, “President Biden has been clear in his intent to restore US assistance programs that support economic development and humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people.”