PLO: UNRWA remains crucial

PLO official says organization's budgetary problems part of plot to bring it down and not due to economic factors.

Gary Willig,

UNRWA HQ in Gaza
UNRWA HQ in Gaza
Flash 90

Zakaria al-Agha, a senior member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization executive committee and head of the PLO refugee department, claimed that the ongoing budget deficit of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is not due to economic reasons but rather the result of a campaign to close the agency.

Agha, a senior member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization executive committee and head of the PLO refugee department, claimed that the ongoing budget deficit of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is not due to economic reasons but rather the result of a campaign to close the agency.

At a meeting of the UNRWA Advisory Committee at the organization's headquarters in Amman on January 21, Arha said that the US administration's decision to reduce aid to UNRWA is a "serious blow" And threatens the future activities of UNRWA.

He called for the convening of an international conference at the level of foreign ministers in order to formulate a way of dealing with the challenges facing UNRWA, stressing that the PLO is determined to maintain the activities of UNRWA and to support the organization until a "just solution" is found based on UN resolutions, particularly General Assembly Resolution 194, which called for refugees willing to live in peace with Israel to be returned to their homes.

The meeting followed the US decision to withhold $65 million in funding to UNRWA earlier this month.

For years, UNRWA has been a target for criticism in light of Hamas's activity in its educational institutions and the use of its facilities by Palestinian Arab terrorist organizations in Gaza.

UNRWA was documented storing Hamas rockets and weapons "designed to kill Israeli citizens" in its schools, a fact which the UNRWA chief admitted himself.

It has perpetuated the status of Palestinian "refugees" for generations instead of working towards their absorption in host countries, continuing to call residents of camps located in the Palestinian Authority refugees. Audits have shown that the number of "refugees" in UNRWA lists is highly inflated.

In addition, the organization has actively taken part in inciting anti-Semitic violence.


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