US abstains from UNRWA affirmation for Palestinian right of return

i24NEWS

3 min read
Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett addresses the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, at the UN headquarters in New York City, September 27, 2021.
AP Photo/John Minchillo, PoolIsrael's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett addresses the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, at the UN headquarters in New York City, September 27, 2021.

Doing so broke the voting trend set by Trump, who would automatically vote 'no' on such texts

The Biden administration abstained from a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution titled “Assistance to Palestine Refugees” which affirms the right of return for Palestinian refugees to sovereign Israel. 

Doing so broke the voting trend set by former US president Donald Trump, who would automatically vote “no” on such texts, The Jerusalem Post (The Post) reported.

“We were pleased to see language included in several of the resolutions that reflect our priorities in line with strengthening UNRWA,” Richard Mills, US Deputy Representative to the United Nations said in a statement.

“...under President Biden, the United States announced it would restore its financial support to UNRWA, which we do believe is a vital lifeline to millions of Palestinians across the region.”

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Mills’ statement came amid the committee approving packages of resolutions concerning Israel and Palestinians that will later be touched on at the UNGA plenum for a final vote, The Post reported. 

Of those texts, three affirmed the work of UNRWA, an agency that services some 5.7 million Palestinian refugees in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem.

The resolutions call for the right of return for Palestinian refugees to Israel as well as for their receipt of compensation for property lost when they fled their homes, according to The Post.

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Considering the package pertaining to Israel, of which the US voted against, Mills pleaded that “Israelis and Palestinians deserve equal measures of freedom, dignity, security, and prosperity.”

“The package of resolutions we are voting on today do not serve that goal [of a two-state solution]. We are disappointed that Member States continue to disproportionately single out Israel,” he added.

Only Israel opposed the text on Palestinian refugees, while the European Union supported all resolutions.