Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here’s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Trump prepares to defund UNRWA if PLO-Israel negotiations don’t resume

By David Singer - posted Wednesday, 10 January 2018


President Trump appears determined to defund the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) should the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) refuse to resume negotiations with Israel.

Such negotiations – suspended since April 2014 – won't re-commence until Trump's eagerly-awaited peace plan – his "ultimate deal" - sees the light of day. Until then current UNRWA funding will probably continue.

Trump will have been singularly unimpressed with PLO Executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi describing America's threat to defund UNRWA as "blackmail".

Advertisement

US Ambassador to the United Nations - Nikki Haley - explained America's future intentions regarding UNRWA:

The President has basically said he doesn't want to give any additional funding, or stop funding, until the Palestinians agree to come back to the negotiation table. We still very much want to have a peace process. Nothing changes with that. The Palestinians now have to show they want to come to the table.

As of now, they're not coming to the table, but they ask for aid. We're not giving the aid. We're going to make sure that they come to the table.

America has long borne the lion's share in funding UNRWA's refugee program.

Contributions to UNWRA are purely voluntary.

US$1243 million was donated to UNWRA in 2016 by:

1. America - US$368 million

Advertisement

2. The European Union - US$160 million

3. Saudi Arabia - US$148 million

4. The rest of the world - US$567 million

China donated US$300000, Indonesia US$5000 - whilst only 9 of the 22 members of the Arab League donated to UNWRA and their contributions (apart from Saudi Arabia) totalled US$31 million.

UNRWA is doing nothing to relieve itself of its ongoing financial liability and responsibility for an ever increasing number of refugees – who comprise:

1. those persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period from 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948 and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israel War. ("Qualifying Refugees")

2. the descendants of male Qualifying Refugees, as well as their legally adopted children.

Palestine refugees constitute the only group of refugees in the world whose descendants can claim refugee status long after the death of their refugee ancestors. Their numbers have increased from 750000 in 1950 to 5 million in 2017.

UNRWA could reduce this ever-burgeoning number of refugees by closing many refugee camps in the West Bank like Dheisheh – which UNRWA states:

was established in 1949 and is located along the main street in Bethlehem. The camp was built to serve 3,000 refugees. Today, the number of residents in Dheisheh has reached roughly 15,000.

UNRWA acknowledges that Dheisheh has been "under full Palestinian control (Area A)" since the 1995 Oslo Accords.

How can Dheisheh's residents then continue to be classified as "refugees" when they are being governed by the PLO – the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" – along with 200000 other Palestinian Arabs living side by side with them as their next door neighbours?

Shouldn't Dheisheh's four schools, one health centre, Shams Health Centre for Non-Communicable Diseases and the Environmental health office be open to all Bethlehem residents - and the 15000 Dheisheh residents taken off the UNRWA refugee register and absorbed into the Palestinian Arab population of Bethlehem?

UNRWA keeps Dheisheh open in apartheid-style segregation from Bethlehem - causing ongoing stress, suffering and dependency on its hapless residents.

Political – rather than humanitarian – concerns dominate UNRWA's agenda preventing the closure of Dheisheh and other similar humanitarian eye-sores in the West Bank.

No wonder most countries contribute precious little to UNRWA. America seems set to emulate their example – especially if Israel/PLO negotiations aren't resumed.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. All


Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

3 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at www.jordanispalestine.blogspot.com.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by David Singer

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 3 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy