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Palestinians slam reported US plan to weaken refugee agency

August 5, 2018

FILE - In this March 12, 2018 file photo, refugee school girls fly kites during an event at the UNRWA Rimal Girls Preparatory school in Gaza City. UNWRA serves some 5 million Palestinians across the Middle East -- including refugees displaced by the war surrounding Israel's establishment in 1948 and their descendants. Palestinian officials have denounced reported U.S. attempts to undercut the U.N. agency. The U.S.-based Foreign Policy magazine said a senior adviser to President Donald Trump called for a "sincere effort to disrupt" the agency. (AP Photo/Adel Hana, File)

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinians have denounced reported U.S. attempts to undercut a U.N. agency that serves several million Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

The U.S.-based Foreign Policy magazine has reported that Jared Kushner, Mideast adviser to President Donald Trump, called in an email this year for a “sincere effort to disrupt” the agency.

In previous U.S.-led negotiations, the fate of Palestinian refugees and contested Jerusalem were to be settled in a peace deal. Palestinian officials now fear that the Trump administration is moving unilaterally to settle these issues in Israel’s favor.

Nabil Shaath, an adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, alleged Sunday that the Trump administration is “pushing to impose facts on the ground, by realizing all of Israel’s demands.”

Abbas’ office said Saturday it would “foil conspiracies to end the Palestinian cause.”

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