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  31th July 2015    Time 02:01 Jerusalem EU Provides €2M to Support UNRWA’s Aid of Palestinian Refugees from Syria       PEX Report: Index Slightly Up      Finalizing Peace Talks Not Prerequisite to Recognition of Palestinian State, says UK Official       Israeli Forces Halt Construction of Water Well in Northern Jordan Valley Village      Abbas Meets Newly Appointed US Consul General in Jerusalem at Headquarters in Ramallah      US, Egypt Denounce Israel’s Approval to Construct 300 Housing Units in Illegal West Bank Settlements      Israeli Army Undercover Units Detain Palestinian Minors in East Jerusalem Neighborhood      Palestine Households Consume 16.323MCM of Water per month in 2015      Newspaper Review: Settlements' Expansion through another 800 Illegal Units Focus of Dailies      Israel Approves Bill to Force-Feed Palestinian Hunger Striking Detainees      Weather Forecast: Warm Atmosphere Persists      Israel Hands Demolition, Stop Construction Notices of Nine Residential Structures      PEX Report: Index Continues Down Trend      Palestinian Attacked, Detained for Wishing an Israeli Soldier a Good Day      Israeli Settlers Riot against Eviction, Attack Palestinians near Jenin
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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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