Scoop: U.S. freezes funds to U.N. relief agency, diplomats say
Palestinians protest in front of UNRWA headquarters in Gaza City last month. Photo: Majdi Fathi / NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Trump administration has frozen $125 million in funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which provides aid to Palestinian refugees, according to three Western diplomats who were informed of the move. They said the funding, one third of the annual U.S. donations to the agency, was supposed to be transferred by Jan. 1 but was withheld.

Why it matters: A funding freeze could be seen as a slap against the organization — which the U.S. and Israel consider to be biased against Israel and too politicized — and an attempt to pressure the Palestinians to return to peace talks with Israel. But a State Department official said that the fact the money wasn't transferred on Jan. 1 doesn't mean it was frozen. "There are still deliberations taking place, and we have until mid January to decide what we are going to do,” the official said.