Israel Told It Will Have to "Share" Jerusalem

Netanyahu wants UN Palestinian refugee agency to

For example, Breitbart Jerusalem reported last week that the agency was unable to confirm whether its statistic of 500,000 was a true reflection of the number of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon when that country's own bureau of statistics cites 175,000 - almost two thirds less than UNRWA's number.

"The US administration wants to impose the Israeli position on the Palestinian leadership, and liquidate our cause by demanding the closure of the UNRWA agency, cutting aid, starving refugees and closing schools", he said.

"It also enshrines the narrative of the so-called 'right of return.' Therefore, UNRWA should pass from the world", he told a weekly cabinet meeting.

Government spokesman Yousef al-Mahmoud condemned calls by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for dismantling UNRWA as a way to end the Palestinian refugee issue.

"UNRWA is an organization that perpetuates the problem of the Palestinian refugees", he added. "Great-grandchildren of refugees, who are not refugees, but who are cared for by UNRWA", should not receive aid, he said Sunday. "This absurd situation must end".

Thousands of Palestinians fled their homes during the 1948 Independence war.

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PA President Mahmoud Abbas said last month that the Palestinians would seek full membership in the United Nations and ultimately apply to join all 522 official global organizations in response to President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and announcement of plans to move the U.S. embassy to that city.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants a United Nations agency serving Palestinian refugees to "disappear" because he believes their descendants are a threat to Israel's existence.

"We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect", Trump tweeted.

Yet it could also have a negative effect on Israel, which also relies on the Palestinian Authority to help maintain calm. The U.N. agency, founded in 1949 to aid Palestinian refugees, is a main provider of educational and health services in the Gaza Strip.

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said it had not been informed of any changes to US funding at this time and responded to Netanyahu by saying that only the U.N. General Assembly could alter their mandate.

The U.S.is the largest donor to UNRWA and ending its aid could have a particularly damaging effect in Gaza, where the majority of residents are eligible for its services. "This needs to be resolved by the parties to the conflict in the context of peace talks", he said.

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