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Israel's Knesset bill would end all of UNRWA’s operations in Israel

Likud MK Nir Barkat proposes a Knesset bill to end all operations in Israel of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees and their descendants, UNRWA.

Israel has long accused UNRWA of perpetuating the Israel-Palestinian conflict, defining refugees in a different way from other refugees around the world and making no attempt to resettle them in new countries, causing the population it serves — uniquely — to grow exponentially.

It has also been accused of inciting against Israel in its textbooks.

The move comes amid reports of increasing corruption and mismanagement within the agency and the recent resignation of its head, Pierre Krahenbuhl.

“UNWRA explicitly encourages incitement against Israel and attacking our citizens,” Barkat says in a statement. “UNWRA facilities are also known to be terror bases in Gaza that store missiles used against Israeli civilians.”

“UNRWA’s continued existence is increasingly irrelevant but also harms the very interests of the people it was founded to serve. UNRWA provides poor service and supports the idea that the Arab population should always be treated as refugees whereas we know that in Jerusalem there are no Palestinian refugees, only residents with the same rights as any other resident,” Barkat charges. “This significantly damages any hope for a better future for that community and our region, and we need to ensure that the agency closes its doors in Israel once and for all.”


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