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Fatah official calls to support UNRWA against US and "Zionist lobby", changing inheritance of refugee status is “unacceptable”

Headline: "Salameh calls for general mobilization to fight any decision to eliminate UNRWA"

"Fatah Movement Central Committee member [and Fatah Commissioner of NGOs] Dalal Salameh called for general mobilization to fight the pressures being applied to the UN to eliminate UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) by seeking alternatives.

This was said in a press release that her office published yesterday [Nov. 3, 2019] in response to news items in the 'Israeli' newspapers about how UN Secretary-General António Guterres' office submitted a request to the UN non-governmental organizations to propose alternatives to UNRWA's activity.

Salameh noted that what is occurring in the halls of the UN is part of the increasingly severe attacks against UNRWA, which are being led by American President [Donald] Trump's administration, alongside the occupation government and the Zionist lobby. [These attacks] are targeting UNRWA with many false accusations, including maintaining the Palestinian refugee problem, inciting against the occupation, and also corruption in its administration.

Salameh emphasized that the Palestinian refugees adhere to UNRWA… and that its role will only end with the implementation of the international decisions and agreements that determine that a Palestinian state needs to be established in the 1967 borders whose capital is East Jerusalem, and with the implementation of the Palestinian refugees' right of return according to the 1948 [UN] Resolution 194. She added that all of the options and alternatives to UNRWA that are being proposed are unacceptable because they contradict the decisions of the international institutions to which the Palestinian people and its leadership adhere.

She continued: 'These alternatives – including the transfer of UNRWA's authorities to the Arab states that are hosting the refugees or to the [UN] High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), or redefining the Palestinian refugee in order to cancel the transfer of the right to be a refugee by inheritance from generation to generation, or any other proposal – are completely unacceptable to the Palestinian people in general and to the Palestinian refugees in particular. The Palestinian leadership, which the PLO represents, is completely coordinated in its positions with the people on everything related to adhering to its rights and refusing to bargain over them.'

She emphasized that the international community must double its funding for UNRWA in order to compensate for the cessation of the American aid over two years ago."

UN Resolution 194 (Chapter 11, Dec. 11, 1948) states that "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."

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