United Nations (QNN)- The United Nations General Assembly on Friday overwhelmingly renewed the UNRWA mandate for another three years, despite American and Israeli opposition.
The UN’s Fourth Committee approved a resolution extending the mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) until June 30, 2023, with 169 votes in favor and nine abstentions, while the United States and Israel voted against.
President Mahmoud Abbas praised the decision, describing it as a message from the international community that “the resolutions of international legitimacy are not subject to bargaining or blackmail”.
He said the resolution is “evidence that the entire world is standing with our people, its historical rights and its just cause”, and that “it is a triumph for international law and the rights of the Palestinian refugees, until their issue is finally resolved in accordance with United Nations resolutions.”
Hanan Ashrawi, a senior Palestine Liberation Organization official, hailed the UN vote on Friday and said it was the United Nations’ responsibility to combat US and Israeli attacks on Palestinian refugees.
“All attempts at trying to limit UNRWA’s mandate or defund it or attack it have failed, and we hope that the international community will continue to come to the rescue,” she said.
UNRWA, which was established in 1949, provides education, health and relief services as well as housing and microfinance assistance to more than 5 million registered refugees in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, as well as in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
last year, Trump’s administration halted its aid of $360 million per year for the agency, endangering the livelihoods of over five million Palestinian refugees, who depend on the agency.