Israel: Palestinian Refugees Number in the Thousands, Not Millions


Ynetnews reports: A government study shared with Washington argues that Palestinian refugees number in the thousands, not the millions designated by a UN aid agency whose funding has been slashed by the Trump administration, an Israeli official said on Friday.

The fate of Palestinians displaced during the 1948 War of Independence and their descendants has long clouded US-sponsored peace efforts. Frustration over the issue is among factors fuelling often violent weekly protests at the Gaza border over the last half year.

Palestinians demand a refugee right of return to Israel, which rejects this, insisting they settle where they are or in a future Palestinian state. Negotiations on founding that state in the West Bank and Gaza stalled in 2014. UNRWA was founded in 1949 in the wake of the exodus of around 700,000 refugees who fled or were driven out of Israel on its founding as a state.

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