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Financial challenges facing UNRWA require international intervention, says official

Posted On: 24-02-2024 | Politics
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Ramallah / PNN / 

Member of the PLO's Executive Committee and head of its Refugee Affairs Department, Ahmed Abu Houli, today discussed with French Deputy Consul Quentin Lopinot, the financial challenges facing the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

Abu Houli warned of the catastrophic repercussions of stopping the support for UNRWA.

During his meeting with the delegation of the French Consulate, at the headquarters of the Refugee Affairs Department, in the city of Ramallah, Abu Houli expressed his condemnation of undermining the legal status of UNRWA and its mandate granted to it by Resolution 302.

Furthermore, he affirmed that as the Israeli air raids on residential neighborhoods in various areas of the Gaza Strip continue for the 141 days, resulting in more than 30,000 people killed, the majority of whom are children, women, and the elderly. In addition, he said the aggression has resulted in the massive destruction of homes and the denial of sufficient food and other essentials of life.

Abu Houli further highlighted the horrific and barbaric violations and attacks committed by Israeli army and extremist colonists in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem.

He stressed the need for concerted international efforts, including France, to pressure Israel to open safe humanitarian corridors to bring aid into the Gaza Strip, and to save the lives of more than 1.7 million displaced people who were forcibly evacuated by occupation and reside in shelter centers, whether in UNRWA schools or government schools.

He added, "The presence of UNRWA and the continuation of its services in its areas of operations in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including Jerusalem, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, constitute a factor of stability in the region and a lifeline for Palestinian refugees who depend mainly on its services and food and cash assistance."

Abu Houli warned against the Israeli occupation government targeting UNRWA headquarters in Jerusalem, specifically in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and Kafr Aqab, and seeking to close its headquarters in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, and closing the training college in Qalandiya after the Israeli Knesset approved, in a preliminary reading, a draft law ruling UNRWA to stop working in the 1948 territories and the occupied city of Jerusalem, which will have serious repercussions on the agency’s work and the services it provides to 110,000 Palestinian refugees in Jerusalem.

Abu Houli warned of the Israeli plan to displace Palestinians from their lands towards Sinai, praising France’s position rejecting this, stressing the need to take actions to stop the war of genocide on the Gaza Strip.

For his part, Lopinot stressed that his country continues to support UNRWA and support the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people in accordance with international legitimacy resolutions.

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