On Wednesday, the United Nations Security Council held a special discussion on UNRWA, the United Nations agency that oversees the Palestinian refugees.
At the beginning of the discussion, Pierre Krähenbühl, the UNRWA representative, said: "We need an additional $1.2 billion for our activities in 2019. We don’t believe the future of Palestine refugees should be framed in decades of UNRWA. They deserve a better political future. Until then, we will continue to operate."
Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, responded by saying that "UNRWA has been empowering the refugee problem for years, instead of trying to solve it while adopting a unilateral political position. The organization's schools have been transformed into terror and incitement infrastructures, with textbooks distributed on the ground denying Israel's existence, and underground tunnels dug by Hamas."
"UNRWA failed to rehabilitate the Gaza Strip and succeeded only in inciting violence against the State of Israel. UNRWA's mandate must come to an end," added Danon.
Danon then turned to the UNRWA representative and challenged him: "UNRWA, like any organization, must have clear goals. What are those goals? How long will it take to reach them? And how much will it cost?" Ambassador Danon demanded that the Council members receive the representative's answers within six months.
Jason Greenblatt, the US envoy to the Middle East stated: "It is time to face the reality that the UNRWA model has failed. Year after year, budget shortfalls threatened essential services to Palestinian mothers and children. And year after year, Palestinians in refugee camps were not given the opportunity to build any future; they were misled and used as political pawns. We need to start a conversation about planning the transition of UNRWA services to host governments and international or local non-governmental organizations."