Knesset passes bill banning UNRWA in occupied Palestinian territories

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TEL AVIV — According to Israeli media, the Knesset preliminarily approved a bill prohibiting UNRWA from operating in the occupied Palestinian territories and East Jerusalem. اضافة اعلان

The Knesset's General Assembly passed the preliminary reading of a draft law that would end UNRWA's work in the Middle East in 2023. The suggestion was put forward by Knesset member Boaz Bismuth and a handful of other members. 33 Knesset members supported the plan, while 10 members opposed it. Amad Media reported that the draft bill will now be forwarded to the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee for additional discussion and drafting.

The proposal seeks to prohibit UNRWA from operating in Israel and directs the Israeli police to implement the restriction.

"UNRWA’s role is to provide services exclusively to Palestinian refugees. Therefore, there is no reason for it to offer any services within the borders of the State of Israel, where there are no Palestinian refugees but rather residents of the state who receive services from various state institutions,” the Knesset stated.

“UNRWA is used as a platform for incitement and education promoting hatred towards Israel and harming its Jewish population. Within UNRWA-administered schools in Jerusalem, materials with anti-Semitic content are taught, including textbooks that praise and glorify those who killed children and women. UNRWA institutions serve as a fertile ground for actions and incitement against the State of Israel,” the statement continued. “According to reports prepared by the UN and UNRWA itself, it has been revealed that UNRWA is a corrupt and ineffective institution, riddled with administrative violations. It has utterly failed to provide services to the Arab population. The limited services it offers within Israel’s borders are of low quality, and even the few residents who consume them complain about their inadequacy.”

Earlier, UNRWA’s Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini, confirmed that Israel did not provide any evidence regarding allegations of staff involvement in Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7. Lazzarini stated that Israel’s claims were mere allegations, emphasizing that external independent investigations are underway to review all aspects of the agency’s operations and its employees.

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