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  22th September 2014    Time 19:19 Jerusalem Abbas in New York to Coordinate Positions towards Upcoming Political stage      Al-Arabi Discusses Palestinian Issue with Ki-Moon, Blair      Three Birzeit University Students Invent Stair-Climbing Handicap Wheelchair      Official Calls for International Protection to Palestinian Prisoners      Knesset Passes Bill Preventing Granting Pardon for Palestinian Prisoners      PEX Report: Index Up      Rearrested Prisoners Freed in Shalit Swap to Go on Hunger Strike      Official Denies Secret Negotiations between PA and Israel      Israeli Army Arrests 10 in West Bank      Newspaper Review: Resumption of Indirect Gaza Ceasefire Talks Focus of Dailies      Israeli Prosecutor Takes Harsher Policies against Palestinian Minors in Jerusalem      Weather Forecast: Rise in Temperature       UNRWA Urges Donor Countries to Take Firm Stand against Forcible Transfer of Palestinian Bedouins      PEX Report: Index Begins Week Trading in Decline      Israeli Army Closes Entrance of Hebron Camp
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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 UNRWAs 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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