(Washington) – The United States has reportedly frozen $125 million in funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) that provides aid to Palestinian refugees.
The decision has been taken days after President Trump threatened to withhold future aid payments to Palestinians, Axios news site reported.
The funding was meant to be transferred by January 1, but was being held up because the White House is reviewing its aid to the Palestinian Authority, Axios said, citing three anonymous Western diplomats.
However, a State Department official described Axios story as “misleading”.
“Just because they were expecting the money on the first, and they did not get it at that time, does not mean it was suspended or canceled,” the U.S State Department source said, adding that “deliberations are ongoing, and we have until mid-January to make a final decision.”
Earlier this week, President Trump tweeted: “We pay hundreds of millions of dollars a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel.”
The U.N. Relief and Works Agency was established after the 1948 War, which displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.
UNRWA provides education, health care and other social services to Palestinians throughout the Middle East.