Arab League Drafts Response To Trump's Jerusalem Decision

Arab League Drafts Response To Trump's Jerusalem Decision

In his speech on Jerusalem, Trump said Israeli and Palestinians should decide the final borders of the city, emphasizing that the U.S. was not taking a position on their final status.

He added that the current U.S. administration wants to impose dictates on Palestinian leadership by adopting the Israeli position, in order to liquidate the Palestinian cause by demanding the dismantling of UNRWA, cutting aid, starving refugees and closing schools.

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.

Netanyahu said UNRWA was "an organization that perpetuates the Palestinian problem".

"This of course creates a situation where great-grandchildren of refugees who are not refugees are treated as such by UNRWA".

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

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"My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians".

Continued American "talk" of deals to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or invitations to resume negotiations are "unacceptable" as long as US President Donald Trump's changes to American policy on Jerusalem are not reversed, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told official Palestinian Authority radio on Tuesday.

"We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect", Trump tweeted. Privately, it understands that US support for both UNRWA and the Palestinian Authority is in Israel's interest because it maintains the status quo and alleviates a financial burden for Israel.

Zanoun expressed hope that Hamas will attend the meeting if not by its people in Gaza for fear of arrest by Israel since they can only reach Ramallah through Israel, then by its representatives in the West Bank. Critics have warned that thousands of children could turn to Hamas schools, for example, if UNRWA schools are forced to close.

He added that UNRWA, which began operations on 1 May 1950, was funded by contributions from United Nations member states and whose services encompass education, healthcare, social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance, and it has a mandate to continue with its mission until there is a just and lasting solution to the Palestine refugees issue. "This needs to be resolved by the parties to the conflict in the context of peace talks, based on United Nations resolutions and worldwide law, and requires the active engagement by the global community", Chris Gunness said.

The United States is the largest donor to UNRWA, with a pledge of almost $370 million as of 2016, according to the organization's website.

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