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Israeli Prime Minister Wants UNRWA Closed Amid U.S. Aid Cut Threat

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Tel Aviv, January 12 (RHC)-- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for the closure of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees after U.S. President Donald Trump cut the funding for the organization. 

Netanyahu said at the beginning of his weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem that the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) needed to pass away from the world. 

"I completely agree with President Trump's sharp criticism of UNRWA. UNRWA is an organization that perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem, and perpetuates also the narrative of the so-called right of return, whose goal is the elimination of Israel. For these reasons, UNRWA should be shut down," the Israeli prime minister said. 
 
"This is a body established separately 70 years ago, just for Palestinian refugees, while the UNHCR exists for all other refugees in the world," Netanyahu said, referring to the UN refugee agency that is also known as the UNHCR.  "This has led to the situation where the great-grandchildren of refugees, who are not themselves refugees, are cared for by UNRWA, and in 70 more years there will be great-grandchildren of those great-grandchildren, and so this absurdity has to end." 

UNRWA runs hundreds of schools for Palestinian refugees in the besieged Gaza Strip, the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.  It also distributes aid and provides teacher training centers, health clinics and social services. 

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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