UN Extends UNRWA Mission until 2023 despite Israeli-US Opposition

UNRWA has been helping Palestinian refugees since 1949. (Photo: File)

The United Nations extended the work of its Palestinian refugee agency for another three years on Friday, despite fierce opposition from the US and Israel.

The current mandate was due to run out in June 2020 but 169 countries approved a renewal up to 2023 at the UN General Assembly, with the US and Israel voting against, while nine countries abstained. 

The resolution approved on Friday “all donors to continue to strengthen their efforts to meet the anticipated needs of the agency” amid deteriorating socio-economic conditions in the Palestinian Territories. 

US President Donald Trump’s administration, along with Israel, accuses UNRWA of perpetuating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but the agency disputes that and says it provides services that would otherwise not be available to Palestinians.

UNRWA was set up after more than 700,000 Palestinians were expelled or fled their lands during the 1948 war surrounding the creation of Israel.

It provides schooling and medical services to millions of impoverished refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria as well as the Palestinian territories, and employs around 30,000 people, mostly Palestinians.

Last year, the Trump administration cut all funding to UNRWA, arguing that it was flawed as Washington pressed ahead with work on proposals for an Israeli-Palestinian solution.

(Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, PC, Social Media)

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