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US: Only 40,000 Palestinian refugees left today

Refugees are seen at the Jalazone refugee camp, during the 70th anniversary of Nakba, also known as Day of the Catastrophe in 1948, in northern part of Ramallah, West Bank on 14 May, 2018 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
Refugees are seen at the Jalazone refugee camp, during the 70th anniversary of Nakba, also known as Day of the Catastrophe in 1948, in northern part of Ramallah, West Bank on 14 May, 2018 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Members of the US Congress have been working to cut American support for UNRWA by reducing the number of Palestinian refugees it acknowledges to 40,000, Safa news agency reported yesterday.

Reporting an Israeli newspaper, Safa said that a secret American report stated that there are only 40,000 Palestinian refugees, noting they are the Palestinians who left their home land in 1948 and remain alive today.

Trump's threat to cut aid to countries that vote for Palestine - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Trump’s threat to cut aid to countries that vote in support of Palestine at the UN – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

The secret American proposal says the US can continue to support the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) if it reduces the number of refugees it acknowledges from 5.3 million to only 40,000. This would mean the decedents of those violently evicted from their homeland in 1948 would not be eligible for aid in spite of continuing to live as refugees in a foreign country.

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The bill was initiated by Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn who called it “The UNRWA Reform and Refugee Support Act.”

He said in a statement that the “refugee status is not something that can be handed down from generation to generation.”

According to the document, Palestinian refugees in Gaza would not be dealt with as refugees, but as people living under the control of a “terror group”.

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