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‘Palestinian refugee host countries will not be alternative to UNRWA’

August 2, 2018 at 10:31 am

School children in an UNRWA institute fly kites carrying the hashtag ‘dignity is priceless’ to highlight the dire situation in Gaza [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Host countries will never be an alternative to the UN Relief and Works Agency for providing essential services to Palestinian refugees, a conference in Cairo has agreed. The countries taking part in the conference stressed the importance of UNRWA and its work, Al-Watan Voice reported on Wednesday.

According to one member of the PLO Executive Committee who took part in the conference, Ahmed Abu Holy, the participants insisted that they will stand alongside UNRWA as it struggles to raise funds to fulfil its mandate to support Palestinian refugees until their right of return is resolved as per UN Resolution 194. UNRWA relies on voluntary donations from UN member states to meet its budget requirements.

The conference also discussed and condemned Israel’s new Nation State Law which was approved recently by the Knesset. The law has been criticised widely for creating two-tier citizenship, with non-Jews facing institutionalised racism. The state representatives at the conference described the law as “racist” and said that it undermines a two-state solution to the Palestine-Israel issue.

Read: Politicising UNRWA