FM stresses need to maintain providing UNRWA services

Elias Hubbard
January 12, 2018

In the wake of escalating and angry reactions over the decisions of the US Administration and Israel to strike the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), a spokesman for the UN agency said it would maintain its mission despite the recent crisis, until reaching a solution to the situation of Palestinian refugees.

He added that the refugee issue is a major item on the agenda of final-status talks between Palestine and Israel, adding that such as issue has to be solved mainly in accordance with UN Resolution 194 and the Arab Peace Initiative, in a way that guarantees refugees' right to return and compensation.

The minister said enabling the United Nations agency to continue providing its services is an global responsibility towards the refugees.

His comments came shortly after Netanyahu called for the agency to be scrapped, accusing it of helping "fictitious refugees".

The minister said it was the duty of the entire global community to support UNRWA until the plight of the Palestinian refugees is resolved in line with the worldwide legitimacy resolutions.

The agency plays a significant role in supporting Palestinian refugees with access to education, healthcare, social services and employment in the occupied Palestinian territories and in neighbouring states.

"My concern is that as we talk about regional stability, withdrawing funding for UNRWA would be very negative, both in terms of humanitarian needs of over five million people but also of course it would be destabilizing for the region", Skoog told reporters at United Nations headquarters.

USA involvement with resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is off the table until President Donald Trump revokes his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a top Palestinian negotiator said Tuesday.

"They don't even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel".

Analysts have warned that if the United States leader follows through with the threat, and the withdrawal of aid includes funds earmarked for UNRWA, there would be a big strain on the PA to cover those costs.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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