"$65 million, that is money that will be held for future consideration," Nauert said regarding UNRWA funding. "It’s money that’s being frozen at this time, it’s not being cancelled."
The United States has committed a voluntary contribution of $60 million for 2018 to sustain schools and health services, Nauert said.
UNWRA is funded by voluntary contributions from the UN Member States and Washington is its largest single donor of financial aid. According to UNWRA data, Washington pledged $368 million in 2016, the second largest donor was the European Union with $159 million, while Saudi Arabia contributed $148 million.
Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump in a series of tweets cast doubt on the efficacy of the aid and blamed the Palestinians for the halt in talks with Israel.
Trump’s decision last month to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel triggered violent backlash across the Middle East including protests in the Gaza Strip and West Bank which left several dead and nearly 700 injured.
Israeli UN Envoy Welcomes US Decision to Freeze Funding for Palestine
Meanwhile, Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon welcomed the decision of the United States to withhold $65 million in aid to the UN Relief Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.
"UNRWA has proven time and again to be an agency that misuses the humanitarian aid of the international community and instead supports anti-Israel propaganda, perpetuates the plight of Palestinian refugees and encourages hate," Danon said Tuesday, as quoted by the CNN broadcaster.
On Saturday, the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization urged Islamic countries to provide funding for its structures amid threats of the United States to cut off its aid.