Alwaght- President of Palestinian Authority (PA) Mahmoud Abbas has blame US plot to o strip the refugee status of the two million Palestinians residing in Jordan.
Mahmoud Abbas' office responded Saturday to a report by US magazine Foreign Policy revealing that US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner plans dismantle the UN agency for Palestinian refugees and has pressured Jordan to strip Palestinian refugees status.
The Palestinian president's office said Friday's report proved that Kushner's attempt, as well as his disparaging comments about UNRWA, the UN refugee agency aiding Palestinians, were proof that the US administration is plotting to push the Palestinian refugee issue off the negotiations table.
PA President's office has described the newly-surfaced plan, allegedly outlined by Kushner in internal correspondence in January, as a "continuation of the subversive plots to eliminate the Palestinian problem." By insisting on unraveling the decades-old United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Washington seeks to strike the issue of the Palestinians displaced during the Arab-Israeli war off the agenda of any future negotiations, which is unacceptable, Abbas said on Saturday.
On Friday, Foreign police magazine revealed that Kushner, who is a hardline Jew, has been spearheading an effort to get rid of UNRWA and persuade the Jordanian government to resettle the Palestinians within its borders without UNRWA being involved. In an email to the US President's Middle East peace envoy Jason Greenblatt and several other officials, dated January 11, Kushner reportedly wrote that "it is important to have an honest and sincere effort to disrupt UNRWA."
Advocating for the dissolution of the organization that helps provide healthcare and education to tens of thousands of Palestinians, Kushner wrote that the US cannot let the situation remain stable and has to "strategically risk breaking things" to achieve its wide-reaching goals.
Abbas' office emphasized that the "Palestinian nation" is capable of foiling all similar "plots." It also said that the issue of PA "refugees" needs to be one of the topics discussed in negotiations, and reiterated the fact that the PA will not compromise on its demand for control over al-Quds' (Jerusalem) Arab neighborhoods.
Negotiations must bring "a just and agreed upon solution in accordance with legitimate international decisions and the Arab peace initiative, which has become part of the international legitimacy and is supported by the international community."
Head of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Saeb Erekat reported on Kushner's attempt to buy the Arab countries' support in his quest to eliminate the UN agency back in June.
"They (the Trump administration) approached the host countries of the Palestinian refugees to ask how much UNRWA used to spend there and offered to give it directly to them," Erekat said, claiming that Jordan said "no" to the generous offer.
UNRWA, which was founded in the wake of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, defines refugees as "persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict." In addition to those originally displaced from their homes, it also views their descendants as applicable for refugee status.
The latter principle, which has seen the number of registered Palestinian refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and Gaza exceed five million, has long been a bone of contention between the agency and the Israeli regime, who regard their return as a threat to the recently codified Jewish character of the apartheid nation-state.
UNRWA has had to scale back its assistance to Palestinian refugees in Gaza after the US, which was the agency's biggest donor, slashed its contribution by $250 million. The move left the agency cash-strapped and sparked an urgent call for donors, backed by the UN officials including Secretary General Antonio Guterres. "We must do everything possible to ensure that food continues to arrive, that schools remain open and that people do not lose hope," he told a fundraising conference in New York in June.
Trump has put Kushner in charge of devising a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian deal, that has been in the works for 18 months and which is rumored to include points that are unacceptable to Ramallah.