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U.S. Legislation To Defund UNRWA Could Hit the House Floor by Feb. 12

There are at least three initiatives in the U.S. Congress to permanently defund the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, the UN agency first set up in 1949 to provide humanitarian support to Palestinians made refugees by the 1948 founding of the state of Israel. Language in the $118 billion war supplemental appropriations bill would redirect U.S. funding for UNRWA to other UN agencies. In the House, a bill sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) would simply prohibit U.S. funding of UNRWA. Rep. Darell Issa (R-CA), in a letter also signed by 27 other Republicans, is calling on congressional appropriators to cut off all future funding as they consider budget bills to keep the federal government operating, the first of which must be passed by Feb. 19.

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