World

US won’t restart UNRWA aid until investigation completed -officials

2024.02.09 14:06


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power speaks to the media within the border village of Kornidzor, Armenia September 26, 2023. REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Biden administration plans to attend for an inside investigation of the United Nations company for Palestinian refugees to conclude earlier than resuming aid to the group, U.S. officers informed Arab-American group leaders in Michigan.

U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power and different senior U.S. officers visited the 2024 election battleground state of Michigan on Thursday amid widespread criticism there of President Joe Biden’s coverage on Israel, his failure to name for a ceasefire on assaults on Gaza and continued army aid.

During the assembly, the officers mentioned the U.S. remained dedicated to offering humanitarian aid to the Palestinian folks, however would await the investigation into UNWRA to be full, mentioned Ali Dagher, a Lebanese-American lawyer who took half in one in every of 4 discussions with U.S. officers in Dearborn, a majority Arab-American metropolis close to Detroit.

Abbas Alawieh, a former senior congressional staffer who additionally participated in one of many discussions, informed Reuters that Power spoke at size about UNWRA however indicated Biden was not planning to reverse his choice to halt aid to the company.

Sixteen international locations suspended their funding to UNRWA after Israel accused 12 of UNRWA’s 13,000 staff within the Gaza Strip of collaborating within the Hamas-led assault on Israel final autumn.

UNRWA officers say they anticipate the U.N. oversight workplace’s preliminary investigation report back to take a number of weeks.

Alawieh, in a separate assembly with reporters, mentioned U.S. officers conceded “mistakes and missteps” had been made within the scenario general, however targeted on the administration’s messaging and declined to make any dedication to push the president – even privately – to name for a ceasefire.

“They did tell us in that meeting that they … expect that the president will be shifting his language,” Alawieh mentioned. “But we’re not looking for language shifts. … We’re looking for action from President Biden that saves lives.”

Israel started its army offensive after militants from Hamas-ruled Gaza killed 1,200 folks and took 253 hostages on Oct. 7. Gaza’s well being ministry says not less than 27,940 Palestinians have been confirmed killed, with almost 70,000 extra injured and hundreds extra feared buried beneath rubble.

There has been just one truce up to now, for every week on the finish of November.

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