UNRWA Responds to Netanyahu: We Will Continue Until Refugee Crisis is Resolved

Elias Hubbard
January 13, 2018

The Swedish ambassador said he did not rule out raising the issue at the UN Security Council, which is scheduled to hold its regular meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on January 25.

Erekat said the PLO Central Council meeting scheduled for Sunday in Ramallah would discuss defining the Palestinian relationship with Israel in all areas, as well as how to confront and annul the USA decision on Jerusalem.

The Swedish ambassador to the United Nations said on Tuesday he is concerned about the Trump administration's plans to review funding for a humanitarian agency that provides aid to Palestinian refugees.

US President Donald Trump earlier this month threatened to cut US aid to the Palestinians, saying on Twitter that Washington gets "no appreciation or respect" from the Palestinians.

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.

Hamdallah said that the recent USA steps were undermining the two-state solution, calling on the countries of the world, particularly Norway, to recognize the Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

"There are still deliberations taking place, and we have missed no deadline", said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Netanyahu's calls could have major repercussions for the 450,000 Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA in Lebanon and 174,422 now living in the country.

U.S. vice president Mike Pence will travel to the Middle East next week, with stops scheduled in Egypt, Jordan and Israel.

Palestinian officials have said Trump's declaration on Jerusalem meant he could not serve as an honest broker in peace negotiations with Israel that Washington has been trying to revive.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has also said since the Jerusalem announcement that he is not willing to return to talks as long as the United States is the sole mediator.

The dramatic shift in Washington's policy vis-à-vis the city triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and other Muslim countries.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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