'Only 30,000 legitimate Palestinian refugees'
By Jerusalem Newswire
'Palestinians' were breathing fire and brimstone this week following reports that a new US Senate amendment mandated official scrutiny of the accurate number of legitimate Palestinian Arab refugees.
According to the overwhelmingly 'Palestinian' staffed UNRWA (United Nations Relief Works Agency) – the body responsible for providing "assistance, protection and advocacy" exclusively for the Palestinian Arab refugees – five million "registered Palestine refugees" live in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza, Samaria and Judea.
Starkly opposing this figure are numbers arrived at by a researcher for the US-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
Jonathan Schanzer has reportedly found that the number of people still living who were actually displaced during Israel's War of Independence stands is just about 30,000.
UNRWA has a biennial budget of $1.2 billion. The United States is the largest single donor, giving about $280 million to the agency every year.
Reports say the Senate amendment was mandated by the need to determine how much of the American taxpayers' money goes toward supporting real refugees.
Congress is obligated to keep track of where and on go the millions of dollars America spends annually on this problem. A Republican aide quoted in The Jerusalem Post Tuesday said the new bill would puncture the "UNRWA myth" of millions of refugees.
Angry Arab responses were immediate in coming. Blustering from the 'Palestinian' leadership included dire predictions that the bill would "set back efforts to reach a peace deal with the Israelis."
A former foreign policy advisor to Palestinian Authority "president" Mahmoud Abbas was quoted as calling the amendment "very dangerous."
"It can have a bad reaction on the ground [and] will just make any US ability to push for a responsible solution [between Israelis and Palestinians] suspect in the eyes of the Palestinians and refugees in particular," warned Ghaith al-Omari.