7 APRIL 2021

The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.

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Questions and Answers

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Question:  One other quick question, if I may.  There are reports from Washington that the US is about to make an announcement of funding to the Palestinians, money to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) and other monies.  Do you… can the UN confirm that it’s been notified by the US about this?

Spokesman:  Yes, we’ve seen those reports.  It is also our understanding that a major announcement is imminent.  Obviously, we welcome this announcement, if it turns out to be true, and we have no indication that it’s not.  We’re waiting for the official announcement, but we very much welcome it.

The relationship between the United States and UNRWA is a long-standing relationship.  We hope that others will now follow suit.  There were a number of countries that had greatly reduced or halted contributions to UNRWA.  We hope that the American decision will lead others to re-join UNRWA as UNRWA donors.

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Question:  My second question, this morning in… at the entrance of a Palestinian village near Hebron called Samou, S-a-m-o-u, Palestinian old woman of 73-year-old — her name is Shafiqa Muhammad Suleiman Abu Aqeel — was run and killed by a settler.  That has happened this morning.  Is there… are you aware of this incident?  And what can UN do as the Israeli [inaudible] and their crimes against the Palestinian escalating by the day?  [cross talk]

Spokesman:  I had not personally heard of this case.  Obviously, this is something that needs to be investigated fully, but we will check with our colleagues.

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For information media. Not an official record.