Palestinian Construction and Housing Minister Mofeed Al-Hasayneh yesterday thanked Saudi Arabia for allocating $20 million for reconstruction projects in the besieged Gaza Strip, Al-Wattan Voice reported.
The official also thanked Saudi for pledging $50 million to the UN Agency for Palestine Refugee (UNRWA) which is working to overcome the worst budget deficit since it was established in 1949.
“In the name of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to the Arab Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the King Salman Bin Abdelaziz for the generous support.”
Established in 1949, UNRWA provides critical aid to Palestinian refugees in the blockaded Gaza Strip, the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
Earlier this year, the US State Department said Washington would “no longer commit funding” to the UNRWA.
The US had been UNRWA’s largest contributor by far, providing it with $350 million annually — roughly a quarter of the agency’s overall budget.
This came a month reports emerged of a secret American report stated that there are only 40,000 Palestinian refugees, noting they are the Palestinians who left their home land in 1948 and remain alive today and not their descendants.
US President Donald Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is reported to have tried to pressure Jordan to strip more than two million Palestinians of refugee status in a move that aims to end the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).