Arab UN Envoys Clash With Nikki Haley Over Palestine Support

Published July 26th, 2018 - 09:51 GMT
Palestinian woman walks with Palestinian flag (Shutterstock/File Photo)
Palestinian woman walks with Palestinian flag (Shutterstock/File Photo)

Arab ambassadors to the United Nations have rejected their US counterpart’s criticism of the support received by the Palestinian people from Arab countries.

The permanent Palestinian observer to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, cited the figures presented by the Saudi delegate Abdullah bin Yahya al-Maalami, according to which the Kingdom provided more than $6 billion in financial aid to the Palestinians during the past two decades, which equals the aid offered by the United States.

This came during a meeting of the Security Council on “the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian issue”. The special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, warned of the worsening humanitarian crisis in the occupied Palestinian territories and the increased likelihood of another round of deadly violence between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

He stressed the importance of accelerating collective efforts and strengthening coordination with the Palestinian Authority, Israel, Egypt and the United Nations in order to avoid another confrontation. He warned of UNRWA’s financial crisis, noting that the agency needed $217 million to support its operations in 2018

Permanent Israeli Representative to the U.N. Danny Danon said his country would not tolerate any violation of its sovereignty, “not from Syria, not from Gaza, not from any other enemy that threatens our security.”

He also accused Hamas of training with Hezbollah in Lebanon, adding that all this was being sponsored by Iran.

 

 

Mansour said that the peace plan, expected to be announced by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, “will exclude the Palestinian refugee file,” warning that the cut of US funding for UNRWA would prevent the U.N. agency from assuming its role towards the Palestinians.

Mansour cited statements made by the Saudi delegate to refute claims by the U.S. representative about the funding that Palestinians receive from many sources, including UNRWA.

Haley said that it was time for the countries of the region to help the Palestinian people in an effective way instead of giving speeches from thousands of kilometers away.

“Since [1993], the United States has provided over $6 billion (with a ‘b’) dollars in bilateral assistance to the Palestinians. How much have the Arab countries – some of whom are wealthy – how much have they given to the Palestinians? It does not come anywhere close to what the United States has done,” she said.

The French representative to the U.N., Francois Delattre, called on the United States to “shoulder its responsibilities and fulfill its obligations in this vital subject” concerning the funding of UNRWA.

Al-Maalami, for his part, said that the Palestinian Cause was and would continue to be and the first cause of Saudi Arabia.

He pointed out that his country provided UNRWA with $50 million, through the announcement of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques at the Jerusalem summit in March, and a total of over $100 million last year alone.

In an indirect response to the U.S. delegate, Maalami said that the Kingdom “believes fully in the impact of acts, not the abundance of words.”

“My country’s total support over the last two decades of this agency has reached close to one billion (stressing the b) and over $6 billion dollars to the Palestinian people over the past two decades in development, humanitarian and relief assistance,” he said.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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