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UNRWA has not received notice from Israel on closure of its schools

Jan. 20, 2019 3:54 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 21, 2019 12:09 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said, on Sunday, that the agency has not received any official notice from Israeli authorities regarding reports of a plan to shut down UNRWA-run schools in occupied East Jerusalem.

UNRWA spokesperson UNRWA, Sami Meshasha, said in a statement that the Agency has not received any official notice from Israeli authorities regarding the reports after Israeli media reported that Israeli officials are set to revoke permits for UNRWA-run schools in East Jerusalem as of next year.

Meshasha said, “UNRWA’s existence in Jerusalem is not a gift from Israel.”

He added, “There are bilateral agreements binding on Israel to respect the Agency's installations, jurisdiction and immunity in Jerusalem. In addition, Israel is a party to the 1946 Refugee Convention, and such attempts are in violation of this Convention.”

According to UNRWA, the agency runs seven schools in two refugee camps that are located within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries, which serve about 3,000 students enrolled.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said that Israel’s decision to shut down UNRWA schools in East Jerusalem “aims at ethnically cleansing the Palestinian citizens living in Shufat refugee camp.”

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