RAMALLAH, June 21 (JMCC) - The United Nations agency that deals with Palestinian refugees is hopeful that a Palestinian statehood bid at the UN in September will bring a solution for its constituency, says spokesperson Chris Gunness in an interview
Roee Ruttenberg: The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has indicated that he will declare an independent Palestinian state via the UN and will ask the UN for its support and recognition when the General Assembly meets in September. What are the implications of that for Palestinian refugees, specifically in the Palestinian territories?
Chris Gunness, UNRWA Spokesman: We hope that the implications will be enormous. We hope that as the Palestinians move, apparently, towards a declaration of statehood, they’ll realize that the refugees have to have some place in the political order. And I think the Arab Spring has shown that people are crying out for social and political inclusion, for an end to injustice. You can’t leave the Palestine refugees behind. So I hope that the declaration of statehood will bring forward some political bravery, some commitment and some courage from the decision-makers, from the statesmen of this world. Because there is no doubt in my mind that you can have a just and durable peace unless 4.8 million refugees are brought out of their 63-year exile, statelessness and dispossession.