Palestinians: Refugees

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 5th June 2019.

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Photo of Lord Pickles Lord Pickles Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East's working definition of a Palestinian refugee is in alignment with the UK's policy towards the Middle East Peace Process.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State

The UK recognises the United Nations Relief and Works Agency's (UNRWA) unique mandate from the UN General Assembly, to protect and provide essential services to Palestinian refugees across the Middle East. The UK continues to adhere to UNRWA's definition of a Palestinian refugee: those whose 'normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948 and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict'. We are clear that the status of Palestinian refugees must be agreed as part of wider peace negotiations. Meanwhile, the UK remains firmly committed to supporting the UNRWA across the Middle East. This is in line with our longstanding position on the Middle East Peace Process, which includes supporting a just, fair, agreed and realistic settlement for Palestinian refugees.

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