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Palestinian Factions Reject US, UNRWA Conditional Agreement

Palestinian Factions Reject US, UNRWA Conditional Agreement

Tuesday, 21 September, 2021 - 07:45
UNRWA aid is handed out in Gaza. (AFP)

Palestinian factions handed a legal memorandum to the UN coordinator for the Middle East peace process, rejecting an agreement reached between the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and Washington on restoring US funding to the agency.

A member of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Maher Mezher, said the memorandum covers all implications from the agreement on the refugees and their right of return.

Speaking at a press conference for the follow-up committee of the National and Islamic Forces in front of the headquarters of the UN Coordinator in Gaza, Mezher said the same memorandum was sent to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UNRWA Commissioner Philippe Lazzarini.

He confirmed that the factions reject the “malicious agreement” that threatens UNRWA and Palestinian refugees.

The factions will thwart the agreement, vowed Mezher, explaining that it transforms the refugee file from a political affair to a humanitarian one, even describing some refugees as terrorists.

He added that the agreement transforms UNRWA into an intelligence agency that is always keeping tabs on the refugees. The factions will kick off a series of activities in all of UNRWA’s areas of operation to reject the agreement.

On September 9, the Executive Office for Refugees in the West Bank announced that one of the terms of the agreement was to stop UNRWA aid to any refugees who are members of the Palestine Liberation Army or anyone who participates in a terrorist act.

The agreement calls for monitoring Palestinian school curricula and removing any content that does not align with Israel’s views.

In April, the administration of US President Joe Biden decided to restore UNRWA’s funding within an official agreement of $150 million after it was suspended by the former administration of President Donald Trump in August 2018.

UNRWA was established in 1949 by a decision of the UN General Assembly to establish relief and employment programs for displaced Palestinian refugees in five regions, including Gaza, the West Bank, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.

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