UNRWA responds to Netanyahu: will continue operating until refugees issue solved


Published: 2018-01-08 17:52

Last Updated: 2024-05-24 23:14

Palestinian refugees, throwback to 1968. (Twitter: UNRWA)
Palestinian refugees, throwback to 1968. (Twitter: UNRWA)

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) announced on Monday that it only gets instructions from the UN General Assembly, that was created in the 1950 after Palestinians were expelled from their homeland.

“What perpetuates the problem of Palestinian refugees is failure of the parties to deal with this issue, which should be resolved by the parties to conflict through peace negotiations based on UN resolutions and international law as well as active involvement from the international community,” UNRWA spokesman Sami Mushasha said.

Mushasha said that UNRWA stated operating in 1950 funded by contributions from UN member states to encompass education, health care, social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance.

UNRWA will continue “with its mission until there is a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian refugees issue,” he said.

His remarks came after the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called US to cut UNRWA’s aid.

"UNRWA is an organisation that perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem. It also enshrines the narrative of the so-called 'right of return' in a bid to eliminate the state of Israel. Therefore, UNRWA should pass from the world,” Netanyahu said.

He referred to the US President’s tweet threatening to cut aid to the Palestinians, including to UNRWA unless Palestinians return to the negotiation table.

Netanyahu said UNRWA is dealing with the great-grandchildren of refugees, and in another 70 years they will be dealing with great-great-grandchildren of refugees. “This absurdity has to stop”.

Earlier on Sunday, US official denied a decision has been made on cutting aid to UNRWA.

“There is no existing schedule that obligates the United States to provide specific amounts of aid to UNRWA on specific dates,” the official said.

UNRWA is a relief and human development agency that supports more than 5 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants, who were expelled from their homes during the 1948 Palestine war as well as those who were expelled during and following the 1967 war.