US Renews Palestinian Aid
United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday announced a $235 million aid package to Palestinian institutions and agencies cut off by former President Donald Trump. According to the plan, a majority of the funding will go to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the United Nations agency responsible for Palestinian refugee relief, while the rest will used for economic and development assistance and other peace-building programs. While Palestinian officials like President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh welcomed the move, Israeli Ambassador to the US and UN Gilad Erdan condemned the administration’s decision and warned that it would lead to renewed anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activities by the UN organization. In 2018, the Trump White House halted all payments made to Palestinian humanitarian aid groups, chief among them UNRWA, accusing the Palestinians of exaggerating refugee estimates and perpetuating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Nearly 6 million Palestinians around the world are registered with UNRWA as refugees.