Swiss FM: UN Palestinian ‘Refugee’ Agency Fueling Conflict

Members of pro-Islamic NGO IHH and other groups holding Turkish and Palestinian flags stage a rally following Friday prayers in Istanbul, Friday, May 11, 2018 to protest the US decision to relocate its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem. The embassy is moving from Tel Aviv in line with President Donald Trump's …
AP Photo/Erhan Demirtas

The Times of Israel reports: The UN agency for Palestinian refugees is fueling “unrealistic” hopes of return after 70 years and is therefore helping keep the Israeli-Palestinian conflict alive, Switzerland’s foreign minister said Thursday.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) was established after Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, when around 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled from their homes.

But Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis pointed out that the number of Palestinians characterized as refugees — the vast majority of whom are descendants of refugees — living in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, the West Bank, and Gaza has swelled to more than five million. This is because, unlike other refugee populations worldwide, the UN extends refugee status to the children and subsequent descendants of the original Palestinian refugees.

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