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  21th December 2014    Time 05:15 Jerusalem Rights Groups Denounce Israeli Court’s Rejection of Petition to Allow Gazans Entry into Israel to Attend Court Hearings      Nigerian Government Reaffirms Support for Palestinians’ Rights to Self-determination, Statehood      UN General Assembly Overwhelmingly Adopts Resolution on Permanent Palestinian Sovereignty over their Natural Resources      Tension Continues in Jerusalem, Injuries and Arrests Reported in Clashes      EU Missions Express Concern over Israel’s Deportation of Five Jerusalemites      Newspaper Review: Israel’s Suppressing of Friday Peaceful Marches across West Bank Focus of Dailies       Israeli Fighter Planes Breach Truce Agreement, Fire Missile into Gaza      Weather Forecast: Chance of Sporadic Rain Showers through Tuesday      Patriarch Twal: Cremsian Case Source of Concern       UNRWA Urges Funding for Gaza Unprecedented Destruction       Abbas: Palestinian State by 2017       PEX Report: Index Continues Up      Israeli Police Arrests three upon Settlers Incursion into Al-Aqsa       Daily Assaults Continue: Israel Arrests Nine in West Bank, Jerusalem      New Elementary Boys’ School in Hebron's Beit Kahil
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PLO Official Criticizes US Senate Bill on Refugees

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RAMALLAH, May 31, 2012 (WAFA) – Head of the PLO refugees’ affairs department Zakaria al-Agha strongly criticized in a statement on Thursday a bill submitted by the US Senate Appropriations Committee on Palestinian refugees.

The bill, which was proposed by Republican Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois and approved by the committee, would limit the status of refugees to only the displaced Palestinians who left their homes in 1948.

Those number about 30,000 people as compared with a count by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) of 5,000,000, which includes descendents of the displaced refugees.

Agha described the bill as “a conspiracy to liquidate the issue of refugees and UNRWA’s role,” warning of serious repercussions in the region if the bill is approved as it aims to drop the Palestinian right of return and end the function of UNRWA as caretaker of the Palestinian refugees.

Under the bill, the funding to those no longer considered refugees would not necessarily end; they could be defined as poverty cases. But only the 30.000, instead of five million would still be designated as refugees.

T.R./M.S.

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