Jared Kushner, President Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, has reportedly pressured Jordan to strip the refugee status of more than two million registered Palestinians living in the country.
According to a report in Foreign Policy magazine, Kushner raised the issue with Jordanian officials in the region during his visit there in June.
Emails written by Kushner and obtained by Foreign Policy point to Kushner’s evident dismay with the UN agency as well as to discreet attempts to put a stop to UNRWA’s work — a move that would essentially render millions of Palestinian refugees status-less.
“It is important to have an honest and sincere effort to disrupt UNRWA,” Kushner reportedly wrote Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt in an email dating back to January 11, 2018. “This [agency] perpetuates a status quo, is corrupt, inefficient and doesn’t help peace,” he said of UNRWA.
Other such expressions were reportedly repeated in different exchanges the president’s son-in-law had with other U.S. officials.
Kushner, who has been toiling on a peace plan that Washington is slated to present to Israel and the Palestinians in the near future, was trying to disrupt the UN agency’s work as part of a bigger move, which American and Palestinian officials say is an attempt to completely remove the Palestinian refugee issue from the negotiations table.
The U.S. administration has helped fund UNRWA since it was formed in 1949 to provide aid to Palestinians displaced from their homes following the establishment of the State of Israel. The agency is considered to be a significant actor in the region, mainly due to the fact that it has been providing food and other essential services to Palestinian refugees for decades.