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Foreign Affairs: 'Haley's remarks ignore international law'

Aug. 30, 2018 11:29 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 1, 2018 11:36 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly criticized, on Wednesday, remarks made by United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, in which she questioned the actual number of Palestinian refugees, expressed opposition to their right of return and called for cutting aid to the Palestinians.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, in a statement, that Haley's remarks "ignore international law and international legitimacy and are hostile to the Palestinian people and their rights."

The ministry added "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."

The ministry mentioned that this is yet another step "in the war" that the US administration decided to wage against 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 thousands of Palestinians who were forced out of their homes in 1948 and in 1967 until they return to their homeland, which is now known as Israel.

The United States, UNRWA's biggest donor, whose financial aid made up a third of the agency's budget, has cut its aid to the agency this year "until the Palestinians commit to U.S. mediated peace talks with Israel," according to Haley.

The ministry added that "these ill-fated remarks are another proof of the current US 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."

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