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Abbas claims that “We are prepared to receive thousands of refugees from… Syria and the region, but the government of Israel continues to reject our request, ” but rejected 2013 Israeli offer allowing Syrian refugees into the PA

This speech was actually given by PA Foreign Minister Ryad Al-Malki in the name of Abbas. However this is not mentioned in the WAFA article or in the next day’s Al-Hayat Al-Jadida. A last minute change might have caused a change in speakers.

Headline: “[PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas]: Despite the occupation and a lack of resources, we are doing what is required of us in everything connected to international humanitarian aid”

Excerpt of speech by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas at the First International Summit on Humanitarian Activity on May 24, 2016, in Istanbul, Turkey

“Ensuring the existence of international collective political will to implement the decisions of international institutions – which call to find a comprehensive and just political solution to the Palestinian issue –is the first and basic stage on the way to ending all aspects of the Palestinian people’s tragedy.

As a result of it, the Palestinian people’s Nakba (i.e., “the catastrophe,” the Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel) was caused, which started to be carried out in 1917 (i.e., with the Balfour Declaration) and continues until this day.

Ladies and gentlemen, approximately 6 million of our people are still refugees and uprooted, living in their places of refuge in neighboring states and within Palestine.

Israel, which has perpetrated these crimes since 1948, has still not accepted responsibility for the uprooting [of the refugees], and for their destruction and erasure of hundreds of Palestinian cities and villages…

As a result of the 1948 Nakba, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) was created, which has helped to care for four generations of Palestinian refugees and their personal development, by strengthening their resolve and protecting their dignity until a just and comprehensive solution is found according to decisions of the international institutions. This necessitates continuing to assist this agency and support its important mission in the humanitarian and development fields, and assisting it with additional sustainable funding that it requires to fulfill its noble role.

At this opportunity, we again emphasize that as part of doing what is required of us, we are prepared to receive thousands of refugees from the wars in Syria and the region, but the government of Israel continues to reject our request.”

In 2013 Abbas rejected an Israeli offer to allow Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria to enter the Palestinian territories on condition they forgo their “right of return” to sovereign Israel.

The Balfour Declaration of Nov. 2, 1917 was a letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Baron Rothschild stating that “His Majesty's government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” and is seen as the basis for later international commitments to establish the State of Israel.

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