Netanyahu calls for closure of UN Palestinian refugee agency

Jerusalem (UNA-OIC) � Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called for the closure of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), days after US President Donald Trump threatened to cut Palestinian aid.

"UNRWA is an organization that perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem," Netanyahu said while also lauding Trump at the beginning of his weekly cabinet meeting, AFP reported.

He said that while millions of other refugees around the world were cared for by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Palestinians have their own body which also treats "great-grandchildren of refugees -- who aren't refugees".

"This absurd situation must be ended," Netanyahu said.

On Wednesday, Trump threatened to cut aid worth more than $300 million annually to the Palestinians in a bid to force them to negotiate.

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said that its mandate came from the UN General Assembly "whose members give wide and strong support to the agency's humanitarian and human development mission".

"What perpetuates the refugee crisis is the failure of the parties to deal with the issue," he wrote in a statement.

"This needs to be resolved by the parties to the conflict in the context of peace talks, based on UN resolutions and international law."

Source: Interantional Islamic News Agency