Netanyahu Incites UN to Dismantle UNRWA

A scene from a UN-run school in Gaza after being shelled by Israel in 2014. (Photo: UNRWA, file)

The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday that he had told US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley that, “the UN should consider shutting down operations of its Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).”

Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday, Netanyahu claimed that “in various UNRWA institutions there is a lot of incitement against Israel, and therefore the existence of UNRWA perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem rather than solve it.”

“Therefore, the time has come to dismantle UNRWA and merge its components with the [UN] High Commissioner for Refugees,” he added.

UNRWA, among other UN bodies, has been the subject of considerable pressure by Israel in recent months. On Friday, Israel called on the UN to “strongly and unequivocally condemn Hamas” and formally classify the group a “terrorist organization”.

Established by the UN General Assembly in 1949, the agency exists expressly to provide aid to “Palestinian Refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.”

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