by Nabil Salem
Anyone with good knowledge of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict cannot deny the biased U.S. positions in support of the Israeli Occupation, as such unlimited backing has been very clear since a long time ago. It has become crystal clear that the U.S. usually shows extreme hostility against the Palestinian people and their cause more than the Israeli Occupation itself.
One of the U.S. positions which poses a serious threat to the Palestinian cause is what the Israeli Channel Two reported about the intention of U.S. President Trump’s administration to “announce steps aiming at abolishing the Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their homeland.”
In its report on this matter, the Channel noted that U.S. administration will cap the number of Palestinian refugees at half a million unlike what the United Nations for Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugee (UNRWA) claims that there are about five million registered as refugees,” in a clear reference to include only the Palestinians who were forced out of their villages and towns during the 1948 Nakbah.
The new U.S. move in this regard involves announcing the halting of all funds to UNRWA and finding a new legal basis that guarantees that the refugee status will not be transferred from one generation to another, the Israeli channel reported.
The channel added that the U.S. may start implementing its plan next week noting that some Israeli officials, who described the move as ‘historical’, had been previously briefed on this step.
It explained that these steps targets UNRWA primarily and aims at shifting responsibility for helping the Palestinian refugees onto the Palestinian Authority.
“Trump is seeking a change in UNRWA’s name and role” after his administration decided to stop all funding to the UN body in the West Bank, the Channel Two continued.
Taking into account that the U.S. decision on UNRWA funding came following the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli Occupation’s capital and its embassy transfer as part of bid to take the Jerusalem issue off the ‘negotiation’ table, such a move means that the U.S. administration is trying now to abolish the Palestinians’ right to return to their homeland guaranteed under the 194 UN resolution stating that the “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.”
It’s worth noting that the Israeli Occupation was accepted into the United Nations on condition that it accept the 194 UN resolution.
By taking this move, Washington is trying to break down any potential negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis and turn them into mere political shows and absurd dialogues, which brings to our minds the fruitless negotiations which led to signing the Oslo Accords that had put the Palestinian cause at risk of being liquidated.
If we try to connect between the Channel Two’s report and the U.S. administration’s decision to stop most of its funding to the Palestinians, including the $200 million in financial aid to the West Bank and Gaza, we can tell that the U.S. is politically blackmailing the Palestinian people to pressure them to accept its plans which serves the Israeli Occupation’s interests.
As part of its smokescreen for diverting attention from the dangers posed to the Palestinian cause, the U.S. administration claimed that the Israeli Occupation would ‘have to pay a big price’ for the U.S. embassy transfer to Jerusalem and would make ‘concessions’ for such purpose, according to the U.S. President Donald Trump’s remarks.
But such claim poses a question of what are the concessions that the Israeli Occupation’s leadership would make during the peace talks after taking Jerusalem off the table and liquidating the Palestinians’ right to return to their homeland?