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PLO official: US bill to reduce the number of recognized Palestinian refugees is “unacceptable and illegal”

Headline: "After the cessation of its assistance to UNRWA – the US attempts to reduce the number of refugees"

"Secretary of the PLO Executive Committee, [Fatah Central Committee member, and PLO Chief Negotiator] Saeb Erekat said that the American plan to legislate a new law, which would recognize only 40,000 refugees instead of 5.2 million, is an unacceptable and illegal matter, which cannot affect the current situation one iota.
Erekat added that the move initiated by American Senator (sic., Representative) Doug Lamborn 'is an inseparable part of the deal of the century (referring to US President Donald Trump's as yet unpublished Middle East peace plan –Ed.), whose goal is to annul the refugees' right [of return], and it is consistent with the racist [Israeli] nation-state law (see note below –Ed.), which constitutes the cornerstone of the suspicious deal.'
He emphasized that the refugees' rights are protected in accordance with UN Resolution 194."

In July 2018 US Representative Doug Lamborn proposed a bill to limit US money allocated to UNRWA until it works to resettle only the original Palestinian refugees.

Jewish Nation-State Law – law passed by the Israeli Parliament on July 19, 2018, which codifies in Israel's Basic Law that Israel is the home of the Jewish nation with Jerusalem its capital, and the Hebrew calendar its official calendar. It establishes Hebrew as the sole official language and grants Arabic a special status, and it recognizes Jewish and Israeli holidays, memorial days, and the Jewish Sabbath as national holidays and days of rest - while guaranteeing the right of all Israeli citizens and residents to celebrate their holidays and days of rest.

UN Resolution 194 (Chapter 11, Dec. 11, 1948) states that "the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return." Palestinian leaders argue this means that all Arabs who left Israel during the war (hundreds of thousands) and their descendants (a few million) have a "right of return" to Israel. Israel argues that the resolution only calls for a limited return and only under certain conditions, especially focusing on the words "wishing to return... and live at peace with their neighbors."