Millions of Palestinian refugees “cannot simply be wished away”

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By: Middle East Affairs

The head of a U.N. support agency said: “Millions of Palestinian refugees “cannot simply be wished away”, hitting back at a U.S. aid cutoff and allegations its work only perpetuates their plight.

It should be noted that The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) provides services to about 5 million Palestinian refugees across Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank and Gaza. Most are descendants of some 700,000 Palestinians who were driven out of their homes or fled fighting in the 1948 war that led to Israel’s creation.

The developing displaced person tally was refered to by Washington, UNRWA‘s greatest benefactor, in its choice a week ago to withhold subsidizing, and has potential implications for the Palestinians’ quest for a privilege of come back to arrive now in Israel.

Progressive Israeli governments have discounted such an inundation, dreading the nation would lose its Jewish lion’s share.

UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl said in an open letter to Palestinian outcasts and the organization’s staff in which he swore its activities would proceed: “I express profound lament and disillusionment at the idea of the U.S. choice.”

On the other hand, seeming to resound Israel’s view that relatives of the 1948 exiles ought not share that status, State Department representative Heather Nauert condemned UNRWA on Friday over its “perpetually and exponentially growing network of entitled recipients”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described UNRWA on Sunday as “the refugee perpetuation agency” whose money “should be taken and be used to really help rehabilitate the refugees, whose real number is a sliver of that reported by UNRWA”.

But Krahenbuhl said “the protracted nature of the Palestine refugee crisis” was not unique. He said the children and grandchildren of long-displaced refugees in Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Congo and elsewhere are also recognised as refugees and assisted by the United Nations.

SCHOOLS OPEN

He said: “Regardless of how frequently endeavors are made to limit or delegitimise the individual and aggregate encounters of Palestine exiles, the obvious actuality remains that they have rights under global law and speak to a network of 5.4 million men, ladies and kids who can’t just be wished away.”

The United States paid out $60 million to UNRWA in January, withholding another $65 million, from a guaranteed $365 million for the year. Krahenbuhl said Gulf states had infused subsidizes yet UNRWA still required more than $200 million.

On Monday, in Lebanon, UNRWA opened its school year as booked. Concentrates in UNRWA-run schools in the involved West Bank and the Gaza Strip got going on Wednesday.

“Funds would last only until the end of the month but the agency would continue to raise money to ensure the schools remain open,” Claudio Cordone, director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon said.

On the other hand, Washington’s move against UNRWA was the latest in a series of U.S. and Israeli policy decisions that have angered Palestinians and raised international concern.

Additionally, they incorporate Trump’s acknowledgment of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December, the moving of the U.S. Government office to the challenged city in May and Israel’s appropriation of a “nation-state” law in July that says just Jews have the privilege of self-assurance in the nation.

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