In official statements, Israel has backed the US for its announcement that it may stop funding UNRWA if the PA rejects peace talks. Behind the scenes, though, several Israeli officials are concerned that such a move would cause a tremendous humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Photo credit: Kobi Gideon, GPO

Officials in the Israeli Foreign Ministry believe a major humanitarian crisis in Gaza could be caused if the US were to follow through on its threat to withhold funding from UNRWA, Israel News Company reported on Thursday.

Earlier this week, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley suggested that the Trump administration might choose to stop its financial support of the UN agency for if the Palestinian leadership rejects the US Middle East peace plan.

Haley’s remarks were met with praise in official Israeli statements, including by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. However, in behind-the-scenes talks with US officials, Netanyahu has reportedly expressed concern that such a move could create an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Gaza, further escalating an already highly-volatile situation.

IDF officials reportedly agree that the suspension of US funding to UNRWA would only make matters worse in the region.