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Palestinian factions call for UNRWA not to shift duties to host nations

Workers of United Nations Palestine Refugee Agency (UNRWA) prepare aids distribute to Palestinian refugees in Al-Shati Camp in Gaza City, Gaza on January 14, 2020 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]
Workers of United Nations Palestine Refugee Agency (UNRWA) prepare aid to distribute to families in Gaza on 14 January 2020 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

The Palestinian factions called on Tuesday for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) not to shift its responsibilities to provide refugees with essential services over to the regional host countries, Safa news agency has reported.

The factions made their point in a joint statement addressed to UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini. They insisted that shifting UNRWA's responsibilities to the host countries under the pretext of the agency's ongoing budgetary crisis is "illegal" under the terms of UN Resolution 302 which mandates UNRWA alone to provide such assistance as healthcare and education, as well as humanitarian aid, to the refugees.

"We reject any change in the application of Resolution 302," said the factions. The suggested measures, they explained, help the Israeli plan to liquidate the issue of the Palestinian refugees. "Our people will protect UNRWA, not only for its humanitarian role, but also for its political role as a witness to the Nakba until the Palestinian refugees return to their homeland."

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