The Trump administration acknowledged Thursday it is withholding $45 million in emergency food aid pledged to Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. This is State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert speaking on Thursday.
Heather Nauert: “That was something that we had planned to make, a contribution, in early 2018, for that $45 million for the West Bank/Gaza emergency appeal, and that was simply for food aid. We routinely provide them with that type of forecasting. At the time, though, when we provided that note, that information, to UNRWA, we made clear that it was a pledge, it was not a guarantee, and that it would need to be confirmed later.”
The move to withhold food aid came as the Trump administration cut off a further $65 million in annual U.S. funding for UNRWA—the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees. Meanwhile, the Trump administration said Thursday it would relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by the end of the year—a move condemned by Palestinians, who say negotiations over the final status of the city are critical to any future peace agreement.