Mohammed Ishtayeh, a member of the Central Committee of the Fatah movement advocated merging the budget of the Agency for Relief and Employment of Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, within the budget of the United Nations. He said the move would help avoid the political pressure faced by the Agency since the US decision to stop funding.
Ishtayeh said the American measures were aimed at ending UNRWA and the elimination of the issue of refugees from the negotiating table.
“Any political solutions must include the right of Palestinian refugees to return and compensation based on Resolution 194. UNRWA is the cumulative memory of the Palestinian people from the Nakba of 1948.”
He pointed out that the funding mechanism of UNRWA is now through donations from countries directly to the Agency, explaining that the annual budget of the Agency estimated at 1.2 billion dollars, and the United States contributes $ 350 million annually.
Ishtayeh stressed that the recent decision by the United States Administration to completely suspend aid for UNRWA increases the importance of a decision in the UN General Assembly to consider UNRWA’s budget as an integral part of the UN General Budget, to ensure its protection as a moral address for the five million Palestine refugees around the world.