Palestine

Colombia recognizes Palestine, sparking fury in Israel

Netanyahu (L) and Santos last year in Colombia. Photo: Juan David Tena/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Colombia's outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos took a secret and dramatic step in his last days in office, it was revealed last night, by recognizing Palestine as a sovereign state. Israel, a longtime ally of Colombia, was kept in the dark and is now furious, demanding the new government in Bogota reverse the decision.

Why it matters: This is a big deal. Colombia was and still is Israel's biggest ally in Latin America, sharing deep military, intelligence and political ties. After President Ivan Duque was elected, Israel discussed with people in his inner circle the possibility of Colombia moving its embassy to Jerusalem. Instead, Colombia recognized Palestine.

Kushner advocated elimination of UN Palestinian refugee agency

Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Jared Kushner and others in the Trump administration have sought to eliminate the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which has provided relief to millions of Palestinian refugees displaced by the establishment of Israel in 1949, reports Foreign Policy.

The big picture: The U.S. has provided funding for UNRWA for nearly 70 years, but many in the pro-Israel camp believe its existence perpetuates the notion that Palestinian refugees will one day return. Eliminating the agency would strip millions of Palestinians of refugee status.