PLO official rejects the US plan to take action against UNRWA, says “the American administration has no right to determine the fate of the mandate given to UNRWA”
Headline: “Abu Houli: The UN will determine the fate of UNRWA’s activity, not the US”
“PLO Executive Committee member and Director of the [PLO] Department of Refugee Affairs Ahmad Abu Houli emphasized that the American administration has no right to determine the fate of the mandate given to UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, apparently referring to exposed e-mails from US Presidential Advisor Jared Kushner; see note below -Ed.).
In a statement published yesterday evening [Aug. 6, 2018], Abu Houli noted that the American administration’s accusations against UNRWA – according to which it has drawn out the problem of the refugees – are misleading, and their goal is to deceive the UN and execute [the American administration’s] plan to end UNRWA’s role and transfer its authorities to the governments of the states that are hosting the refugees…
Abu Houli rejected the White House’s call to change UNRWA’s mandate. He noted that this is coordinated with the hostile campaign that the occupation government is waging against UNRWA…
He emphasized that in accordance with the mandate that it was given by the UN, UNRWA will continue to provide services to the Palestinian refugees until the implementation of [UN] Resolution 194 and the return of the Palestinian refugees to their lands, from which they were expelled in 1948.”
The US news website Foreign Affairs published an article on Aug. 3, 2018, that exposed e-mails by US Presidential Advisor Jared Kushner discussing problems with UNRWA and calling for action against it.
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."