RAMALLAH, August 29, 2018 (WAFA) – The Foreign Ministry strongly criticized on Wednesday statements by United States envoy to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, in which she questioned the official figure of Palestinian refugees and called for cutting it down by the millions and expressed opposition to their right of return to the homeland they were forced out from after Israel was created on their land in 1948.
The remarks by Nikki Haley on Palestinian refugees and their right of return “ignore international law and international legality and are hostile to the Palestinian people and their rights,” said the ministry in a statement.
“Haley’s latest assault on the right of return of the Palestinian refugees and her attempt to belittle their cause and take it off the negotiations table in a show of support for the interest of the (Israeli) occupation and its expansionist colonial schemes leaves her under the illusion that the US administration has removed the issues of Jerusalem and settlements off the table and now the atmosphere is right to also remove the issue of refugees and their right of return,” said the ministry.
It said this is a further step in the war US President Donald Trump’s administration has waged against the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which is the symbol of the Palestinian refugee issue.
UNRWA was created by a UN General Assembly resolution with a mandate to look after the 700,000 Palestinians who were forced out of their homes in Palestine in 1948 before it became to be known as Israel until their return to their homes. The US, UNRWA’s biggest donor with an annual budget of $350 million, has slashed its contributions to the UN humanitarian agency this year to pressure the Palestinians to accept its terms for a settlement with Israel.
“The core issues of the conflict that represent the true suffering of our people are much bigger and deeper for Haley or any other Zionist American official to terminate or bypass regardless of the time,” it said.
“These ill-fated remarks are another proof of the current American administration’s rebellion against the international system and its principles and the international legality and its resolutions, and a continuation of the US foreign policy that is based on dictation, extortion and intimidation,” said the foreign ministry statement.