The US is tying the hands of a UN agency for Palestine refugees – Open Democracy

Posted By on October 27, 2021

Palestinian refugees are under constant attack from the Israeli government and pro-Israel lobby groups. And as the agency representing and protecting their refugee status and right of return, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), has been a priority target for Israel and its allies. Campaigns by Israel and pro-Israel advocacy groups to delegitimise the agency are not new, yet, one of the most significant threats in recent times is unfolding without anywhere near the attention it merits.

On 14 July, the US Department of States Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration signed a 2021-22 Framework for Cooperation with the UNRWA. Seemingly, it is an agreement in which the US will agree to provide funding to the agency as long as some conditions, outlined in the document, are met.

The reestablishment of US funding to the UNRWA comes after a full cessation in 2018 during the Trump administration, allegedly as part of organised attempts to delegitimise the refugee status of more than seven million Palestinians.

In 2019, the US and Israel were the only UN member states to vote against renewing UNRWAs mandate.

The resumption of funding was welcomed by some as an improvement on the scorched-earth policy of the Trump years. However, while funds are desperately needed, the US-UNRWA agreement is significantly and critically flawed, as is laid out in a new report by the Palestinian Return Centre. The report claimed that within the document is another veiled move to delegitimise, depoliticise and dehistoricise the Palestinian refugee cause.

The agreement threatens and undermines the UNRWAs work for Palestinian refugees, violating several of the agencys core principles, including neutrality and independence.

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The US is tying the hands of a UN agency for Palestine refugees - Open Democracy

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