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Hamas rejects US-UNRWA framework agreement

A Palestinian man carries on his shoulder sacks of flour received from a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) distribution centre in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern of Gaza Strip , on 29 January 2020 [MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images]
A Palestinian man carries on his shoulder sacks of flour received from a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) distribution centre in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern of Gaza Strip , on 29 January 2020 [MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images]

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, has rejected the framework agreement signed between the United States and the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) regarding the restoration of US funding for the agency.

Hamas pointed out that the agreement signed on 15 July contains "dangerous and humiliating" conditions imposed by Washington on the agency in return for funding.

"We are aware of the agency's severe financial crisis and the importance of solving it in a radical and sustainable manner," said Hamas, "but that is the responsibility of the international community led by the UN."

READ: UNRWA urges support for Palestine refugees in Lebanon

The movement said that it refuses to sign conditional agreements which empty UNRWA and its mandate of its content, and expose the refugee issue to "grave danger". Moreover, it stressed that it also refuses to take any measures against UNRWA employees or beneficiaries as stipulated in the agreement.

"The United States wants to provide a service to the Israeli occupation by liquidating the refugee issue, the core of the Palestinian cause and UNRWA, through financial extortion," explained Hamas. The agreement, it insisted, contradicts UNRWA's mandate as well as international law and international humanitarian law, turning the agency into a political-security tool in the hands of a foreign country.

The Follow-up Committee of the National and Islamic Forces published a letter on Wednesday addressed to the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini, in which it expressed the objections to the agreement with the US.

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