By Zahran Maali
NABLUS, August 30, 2018 (WAFA) - Last week, US President Donald Trump ordered reallocation of more than $200 million in economic aid earmarked for the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to projects elsewhere. Washington also cut $65 million in funds it paid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
But this was not the end of a series of decisions by Trump, which ranged, according to the Palestinians, from political extortion to financial and economic blackmail since he took office on January 20, 2017.
According to recent reports by Israeli and international media, the Trump administration will not be satisfied with curing aid to UNRWA, but also seeks to change international resolutions with a goal to end the issue of the Palestinian refugees.
The reports noted that the Trump administration is expected to announce details of a new plan to liquidate the Palestinian refugee issue in early September, which includes cutting off all aid for UNRWA in the West Bank and calls on Israel to stop any transfer of funds to it from other countries.
According to the plan, the US administration will recognize only 10 percent of the current number of refugees - half a million Palestinians - from 5.2 million refugees around the world.
The new plan aims to Palestinian refugees to the first generation who were forced out of their homes in the 1948 Nakba, without their children or grandchildren, in contravention of UNRWA data that defined the Palestinian refugee as “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.” The descendants of Palestine refugee males, including legally adopted children, are also eligible for registration, it said.
The Trump administration‘s decision, if implemented, constitutes a flagrant violation of the UN resolutions on the issue of Palestine refugees, the most significant ones are reviewed here by WAFA, as the Palestinians wait to see in the coming days what other arbitrary decisions are going to be taken by the Trump administration against their national and legitimate rights to return, self-determination and the establishment of their independent state.
General Assembly Resolution 194 of 1948
The United Nations General Assembly resolution 194 (III), adopted on December 11, 1948, resolved that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.” (Article 11)
Instructs the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation and resettlement of refugees, their social and economic rehabilitation, as well as the payment of compensation, and to maintain close contact with the United Nations Relief Director for Palestine Refugees and through appropriate United Nations bodies and specialized agencies.
General Assembly Resolution 273 of 1949
The General Assembly‘s decision is conditional on conditional acceptance of Israel‘s membership in the United Nations, namely Israel‘s recognition of partition resolution 181 of 29 November 1947 and Resolution 194 on the return of refugees and compensation of 11 December 1948.
General Assembly Resolution 302 (8 December 1949) Assistance To Palestine Refugees
“The General Assembly,
“Recalling its resolutions 212 (III) 2/ of 19 November 1948 and 194 (III) 3/ of 11 December 1948, affirming in particular the provisions of paragraph 11 of the latter resolutions,
“Having examined with appreciation the first interim report 4/ of the United Nations Economic Survey Mission for the Middle East and the report 5/ of the Secretary-General on assistance to Palestine refugees, …
“5. Recognizes that, without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, continued assistance for the relief of the Palestine refugees is necessary to prevent conditions of starvation and distress among them and to further conditions of peace and stability, and that constructive measures should be undertaken at an early date with a view to the termination of international assistance for relief; …
“7. Establishes the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East:
(a) To carry out in collaboration with local governments the direct relief and works programs as recommended by the Economic Survey Mission;
(b) To consult with the interested Near Eastern Governments concerning measures to be taken by them preparatory to the time when international assistance for relief and works projects is no longer available.”
General Assembly Resolution 513 (1952)
"We note with regret that, as indicated in paragraph 87 of the report, the Commission was unable to fulfill its mandate under the resolutions of the General Assembly and that the resolutions referred to have not yet been implemented, in particular for the repatriation of refugees wishing to return to their homes."
"With regard to the assessment of fair and adequate compensation for the property of refugees who do not wish to return, it considers that the Governments concerned have the primary responsibility for settling their outstanding differences under the General Assembly resolutions on Palestine.
“And urges the Governments concerned to reach an agreement in order to reach an urgent settlement of their differences under General Assembly resolutions on Palestine and, to this end, to fully follow the facilities of the United Nations.
“It considers that the Palestine Reconciliation Commission should continue its efforts to ensure that the resolutions of the General Assembly on Palestine are changed, and requests the Secretary-General to prepare the staff and facilities necessary to implement the provisions of these resolutions.”
Security Council Resolution 237 (1967)
The resolution calls on Israel to respect human rights in the areas affected by the 1967 Middle East conflict and calls upon the Israeli government to ensure the safety, well-being and security of the inhabitants of areas where military operations have taken place and to facilitate the return of those who have fled these areas since the outbreak of hostilities.
The Security Council, taking into account the urgent need to lift more pain on the civilian population, prisoners of war in the zone of conflict in the Middle East, considering that fundamental and inalienable human rights must be respected even in volatile circumstances of war.
The resolution affirms that all obligations arising from the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of 12 August 1949 must be complied with by the parties to the conflict.
The humanitarian principles for the treatment of prisoners of war and the protection of civilian persons in time of war, contained in the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, are strongly respected by the Governments concerned.
The resolution requests the Secretary-General to follow up the effective implementation of this resolution and to report thereon to the Security Council.
General Assembly Resolution 3236 (1974)
"The General Assembly, having considered the question of Palestine, heard the statement of the Palestine Liberation Organization represented by the people of Palestine and heard other statements made during the debate, deeply concerned that a just solution to the question of Palestine has not yet been reached."
The resolution recognized that the problem of the Palestinian refugees continued to endanger international peace and security, and recognized that the Palestinian people had been prevented from enjoying their inalienable rights, in particular their right to self-determination, and guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter.
Recalling its relevant resolutions, which affirm the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.
And reaffirms the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in Palestine, in particular: the right to self-determination without external interference and the right to national independence and sovereignty.
It also reaffirms the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been uprooted, demanded their return and stresses that the total respect for and the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are indispensable for the resolution of the Palestinian question.
And recognizes that the Palestinian people are a key player in the establishment of a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East and the right to restore their rights by all means in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
And calls upon all States and international organizations to extend their support to the Palestinian people in their struggle to restore their rights in accordance with the Charter and to request the Secretary-General to establish contacts with the Palestine Liberation Organization in all matters relating to the question of Palestine.
And requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its thirtieth session on the implementation of the present resolution.
It was decided that the item entitled "Question of Palestine" should be included in the provisional agenda of its thirtieth session.”