MOSCOW - Saudi Arabia will further continue to support the Palestinian people through financial aid, including to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), and may close in the future the gap in the organization’s budget triggered by Washington's decision to stop the body's funding, Abdullah Rabeeah, the supervisor general of King Salman Humanitarian Aid & Relief Centre (KSrelief), told Sputnik in an interview.

The UNRWA has been going through financial difficulties due to the decision of the United States, traditionally the organization's largest funder, to cut off funding to the UN agency, citing Palestinians' unwillingness to hold peace talks with Israel. In late November, Riyadh provided a financial contribution of $50 million through KSrelief to the UNRWA in support of the activities in the West Bank and Gaza to replace some of the funding cut by the United States.

"The recent response from Saudi Arabia is only a continuation of an ongoing process to support the Palestinians. Yes, Saudi Arabia will continue to support projects in Palestine, whether in Gaza or in the West Bank. KSrelief has projects related to health, education, and food and Saudi Arabia will continue to support the Palestinians," Rabeeah said, asked if Riyadh could further help to close the $21-million gap in the UNRWA’s budget.

According to the center, Saudi Arabia’s overall contribution to the Palestinians over the past several years totaled $6.4 billion "for development and humanitarian aid, to support refugees, and also to support UNRWA."

"Saudi Arabia has been known as an important supporter of the Palestinian people – whether in Gaza or the West Bank or anywhere else in the region," Rabeeah added.

UNRWA was set up in 1949 to support Palestinian refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Gaza, pending the resolution of their conflict with Israel. The agency operates schools and various humanitarian organizations.