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PLO "condemns and rejects the dangerous agreement" between the UN and the US which stipulates that US funding to UNRWA cannot be used to support terrorism

Headline: “Sit-in strikes in front of the UNRWA offices in Lebanon against the framework agreement with the American administration – Mun’imAwad: We are only teaching our children our history, what fell in the deal of the century will not pass in the framework agreement”





“In response to the [PLO Department of Refugee Affairs affiliated] Palestinian National Committees’ call, the Palestinian and Lebanese national forces… participated in a sit-in strike in front of the UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) regional directors’ offices to condemn and reject the framework agreement for cooperation between UNRWA and the US (the agreement includes a condition that US funding to UNRWA not be used to support terrorism -Ed.)…


At the end of the sit-in strike, an identical memorandum was given to the regional directors, which said: ‘The framework agreement for cooperation between UNRWA and the US is political par excellence, and it contradicts the human right to express one’s political opinion and defend it. This agreement’s adherence to neutrality – while relying on the UN resolutions to support this excuse – ignored all the UN resolutions connected to the Palestinian cause starting from [UN Resolutions] 181, 194, and 242 (see notes below -Ed.), which guarantee the Palestinian people’s right of return, and up until [UN] Resolution 3237 that recognizes the PLO as a legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Neutrality must not be imposed on those who demand their elementary human rights, which are liberation and struggle, nor [can one] compare one who struggles for the sake of his rights with one who commits terror.’ …


During the sit-in strike in front of the UNRWA headquarters in the Sidon area, [PLO] Secretary of the Popular Committees in Lebanon Mun’im Awad gave [the official PA daily] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida an exclusive statement, in which he explained the danger of the so-called ‘framework agreement’ and the steps to fight it.


Awad said: ‘We launched a sit-in strike in front of [the offices of the UNRWA] regional directors in all areas of Lebanon (the north, Beirut, Beqaa, Sidon, and Tyre) and at the same time, at 10:30 a.m. The headline of these sit-in strikes was opposition to the framework agreement that was signed between UNRWA Commissioner-General [Philippe Lazzarini] and the American administration.’ He added: ‘This agreement contradicts the foundations of UNRWA, because it was founded according to a decision of the [UN] General Assembly, and the commissioner-general cannot carry out any agreement with any side, American or not American.’


Awad expressed his appreciation for the European Union’s (EU) opposition to this agreement and said that the EU recognizes the dangers in this agreement.

He continued: ‘What fell in the deal of the century (i.e., former US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan) will not pass in the framework agreement. We will not agree to conditional aid, and this agreement places conditions on renewing the aid to UNRWA and imposes neutrality. We, as refugees, cannot be neutral, especially because our land is occupied, and all the laws in this world give us the right to take back our homeland by all legitimate means, including armed struggle.’


Awad noted: ‘The PLO Popular Committees launched sit-in strikes in all areas of Lebanon because the partners in this agreement want to interfere in the curricula, on the claim that the host state in the homeland (the West Bank and the Gaza Strip) is Israel, while the state actually is Palestine, which is represented by the legal national [PA] government. Neither UNRWA, the American administration, nor any other body has the right to impose the history that they want to teach to our children; we will teach our children our history. This land is our land, and we will preserve our existence until we return to it.’


Awad reviewed the effects of this agreement, as all the UNRWA employees – starting from the commissioner-general down to the most junior clerk – will become employees of the American administration through its [US] State Department. They demand monthly, periodic, and bi-annual reports on all the employees, their political activities and the like, and this means that the employees are currently being monitored on all social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter), which constitutes a violation of human rights…


Awad noted that in addition to all of this, according to the framework agreement between UNRWA and the American administration, whoever was affiliated with the Palestinian Liberation Army (i.e., the PLO’s military wing) is not eligible for UNRWA services. He added: ‘The name of this army was chosen with great care by the signatories, the American administration and its intelligence services, and they know well that we all were affiliated with this army and it was our honor to fight in its ranks against those who occupied our land, abused our people, and made them flee to all ends of the earth.’





UN Resolution 181 (the UN partition plan for Palestine) was passed by the UN General Assembly in 1947. It called for the partition of the British Mandate of Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem as a separate entity under the rule of a special international body. The Arab state was meant to be comprised of the western Galilee, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, and the remaining territory of the Mandate west of the Jordan River would be the state of Israel - Jordan (known at the time as Transjordan) had already been established in what had been the part of the Mandate that was east of the Jordan River. The resolution was accepted by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, but Arab leaders and governments rejected it, and launched a war to destroy Israel.


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."


UN Security Council Resolution 242 – The 1967 Six Day War ended with Israel in control of lands formerly under the control of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. UN Security Council Resolution 242 called for “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict” and stressed all states’ “right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.” It also called for freedom of navigation through international waters, and demanded a just resolution to the refugee problem. At the time, those involved in drafting Resolution 242 said that the wording of the clause intentionally called for Israeli withdrawal "from territories" and not “the territories” or “all territories,” because the borders prior to the war – the 1949–1967 armistice lines – were not “secure” borders. For example, British Ambassador to the UN Lord Caradon, sponsor of Resolution 242, explained: "It was not for us to lay down exactly where the border should be. I know the 1967 border very well. It is not a satisfactory border, it is where troops had to stop in 1947 (sic., 1949), just where they happened to be that night, that is not a permanent boundary." US Secretary of State Dean Rusk said Resolution 242 did not say “all territories” because the region needed "a border sensible for both parties." US President Lyndon B. Johnson also noted that returning to the old borders would be "not a prescription for peace, but for renewed hostilities." Many argue that Israel fully fulfilled this clause to withdraw “from territories” when it withdrew from Sinai in 1982, a full 91% of “territories occupied in the recent conflict." The words “Palestine” or “Palestinian” do not appear anywhere in the resolution.


The Trump peace plan – US President Donald Trump announced his Israel–Palestinian peace plan "Peace to Prosperity" – commonly known as “the deal of the century” - on Jan. 28, 2020. Main points of the plan: 1- Israeli sovereignty would be applied to the Jordan Valley and all Israeli towns and cities in the West Bank. 2- Jerusalem, including all its holy sites, would remain under Israeli sovereignty with accommodations made to enable access for Palestinians. 3- The remainder of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and part of what is currently Israeli land in the Negev, the Galilee, and Jerusalem - creating a territory almost equal in size to the West Bank and Gaza Strip - would form the Palestinian state, with its capital in neighborhoods in East Jerusalem that are outside of Israel's security wall. 4- The Palestinian state would be demilitarized, with Israel responsible for external security and controlling all airspace. 5- All Palestinian prisoners except murderers, and those who attempted or conspired to murder would be released. 6- Palestinians in refugee camps would be absorbed into their host countries and, subject to certain limitations, into the Palestinian state. 7- Before becoming a state, the Palestinians would have to carry out extensive reform of their laws and institutions, including implementing a new governing system; granting its people due process and basic human rights and freedoms; end all incitement to and incentivizing of terror; end all glorification of terror and martyrdom; disarm Hamas; and adopt a culture promoting peace. The goal of the plan is to create a Palestinian state beside Israel, living in peace and security. The implementation would be facilitated through extensive international investment. 

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