US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that the Palestinians’ right of return to their occupied land should not be raised in any future Israeli-Palestinian talks.
Speaking on Tuesday at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Haley has questioned the right of return, claiming the world body’s count of those refugees is an exaggeration.
Asked whether the issue should be “off the table,” Haley replied, “I do agree with that, and I think we have to look at this in terms of what’s happening (with refugees) in Syria, what’s happening in Venezuela.”
“So I absolutely think we have to look at the right of return,” she added.
The Palestinian right of return is a political position or principle based on which Palestinian refugees are entitled to go back to the territories now occupied by Zionists. They also have the right to the property they left behind or were forced to abandon when they were expelled from their homeland in the aftermath of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.
The Palestinians have for years insisted on their right to return as part of any solution to their decades-long conflict with the Israeli regime.
Haley was in fact suggesting that the highly pro-Israel administration of President Donald Trump would consider an official rejection of that Palestinian demand as it prepares to unveil its so-called “deal of the century” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The US envoy further questioned the UN’s count of Palestinian refugees, which stands at over five million according to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
She stressed that the US funding for UNRWA would only continue if major reforms were implemented, saying “the Palestinians continue to bash America” and yet “they have their hand out wanting UNRWA money.”
“We will be a donor if it (UNRWA) reforms what it does … if they actually change the number of refugees to an accurate account, we will look back at partnering them,” Haley said.
She further noted that the US cannot be faulted for slashing funding to UNRWA when countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait do not give more money to the agency.
Earlier this month, the American magazine Foreign Policy reported that Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, had been pushing to remove the refugee status of millions of Palestinians as part of an apparent effort to shutter UNRWA.
Source: Press TV