Abbas says Israel’s UN criticism seeks to “liquidate” Palestinian refugee issue
The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, stated today that the campaign led by Israel to undermine the work of the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) aims to “liquidate” the issue of displaced people, one of the central issue of the 75-year conflict. . There are about six million Palestinian refugees worldwide – mainly in Lebanon, Jordan and within the occupied territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip – and many of them are in need of humanitarian aid provided by UNRWA since 1948.
In the middle of the war in the Strip, UNRWA is responsible for the distribution of scarce humanitarian aid where more than two million Palestinians in the enclave are dependent, almost its entire population, on the worst humanitarian disaster ever experienced by the Palestinian people.
Nine countries (US, Canada, UK, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Finland and Australia) announced the suspension of funding to UNRWA after the agency fired some employees and opened an investigation into allegations of its possible Hamas involvement in the October 7 attack on Israel. “The president called on the countries that have already adopted a position on UNRWA – before the investigation of the accusations against him was completed – to withdraw it because it would mean unjust and inhumane punishment for millions of Palestinians among our people,” Abbas said. statement released by the Palestinian Presidency Office.
Both UNRWA Commissioner Philippe Lazzarini and UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for a transparent investigation into the involvement of their staff in the October 7 attacks, while demanding that the nine countries cut funding to the agency be considered change its position because it can be forced. end of its activities.
There is already an open investigation by the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services, the organization’s highest investigative authority. And UNRWA terminated the contracts of its employees suspected of collaborating with Hamas.
President Abbas says that Israel has been “committing crimes against Palestinian refugees” since they were expelled in 1948 – a period known to them as the Nakba -, the end of which was the “genocidal war” inside the Strip. Abbas stated that “the return of the refugees is the core of the Palestinian issue,” where many UN resolutions have been adopted and is a fundamental part of the buried two-state solution, although Israel opposes the return of the all refugees in a future Palestinian state.
Israel, for its part, thanked the countries that suspended the funds of UNRWA and asked for further participation in this step against the agency, which it accused of being a “terrorist haven.” Hamas has categorically denied that UNRWA humanitarian personnel cooperated with them in military actions. (Ephesians)