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Israel, Swiss officials discuss alternative to UNRWA

September 5, 2019 at 9:11 am

Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City, US on on 29 April 2018 [noa grayevsky/Getty Images for RSL Management Corpnoa]

Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz announced yesterday that Israel and Switzerland will work on finding an alternative to UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the Jerusalem Post reported.

These remarks, according to the Jerusalem Post, came following a meeting with the Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis in Bern.

During the meeting, Katz accused UNRWA officials in Gaza of cooperating with the Palestinian resistance in carrying out alleged attacks on Israel.

The Israeli newspaper claimed that Katz used quotes from previous remarks made by Cassis himself dating back to May this year when he claimed that the Palestine refugee agency is “part of the problem and not the solution”.

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Cassis claimed then that the UNRWA fuelled “unrealistic” hope among Palestinians of a “right to return” to Israel from refugee camps in the Middle East.

Katz claimed yesterday that the existence of UNRWA sustains the status of Palestine refugees, prolongs the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and retains the demand of the Palestinian refugees to return home.

The Israeli foreign minister has recently directed his ministry to lay down a document proposing an alternative to the UNRWA which he discussed with his Swiss counterpart.

Switzerland suspended payments to UNRWA in July after reports about misconduct among its officials.