Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called decision of the US Trump administration to stop all financial support for UNRWA a “very welcome and important change.”
According to the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot, Netanyahu said during the meeting: “Seventy years ago, a special institution called the Palestinian Relief Agency for Palestine Refugees was established, whose goal was not to absorb the Palestinian refugees but to perpetuate the refugee issue.
“We have to cancel the refugee institution, we have to take the money and really help to rehabilitate the refugees, whose real number is only a tiny fraction of the number reported by UNRWA.”
Netanyahu stressed that although he was opposed to the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, when it happened Israel “dealt with the problem.”
He then spoke about the other Jewish refugees that Israel has absorbed.
“Didn’t people up-rooted from all different lands come to us?” he asked. “Holocaust survivors who were uprooted from their lands, form communities where they live – like in Lithuania, for 500 years, or in Poland for 1,000 years. They were uprooted , survived and came here.”
He said the same thing happened to hundreds of thousands of Jews from Arab lands who came, penniless, to Israel after the War of Independence
“Did we leave them as refugees?” he asked. “We did not leave them as refugees, we turned them into productive, equal citizens in our country.”
He added: “America has done the right decision to stop financial support for UNRWA. America has begun to solve the problem must be transferred funds UNRWA to rebuild the refugee issue and the decision of the US administration is welcome and we support it.”