Muhammad Al-Hindi, Palestinian Islamic Jihad: The Number of Palestinian Refugees Is Dwindling Anyway, Defunding UNRWA Is an Attempt to Eliminate the Issue
Muhammad Al-Hindi, a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, said that the number of Palestinian refugees was dwindling anyway, noting the destruction of the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus and the absorption of the refugees in the general population of the countries where they live. Opening up the UNRWA issue was an attempt "to eliminate the issue of Palestinian refugees," said Al-Hindi, in an interview that aired on Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV on August 27, 2018.
Muhammad Al-Hindi: In practice, there is normalization [of relations with Israel]. Jerusalem was the main stumbling block, along with the issue of the refugees. The symbol of the [Palestinian] refugees in the diaspora is the Yarmouk refugee camp [in Damascus]. There were approximately 400,000 Palestinians in Yarmouk, along with over a million Syrians. They have been absorbed... Now the Yarmouk refugee camp has come to an end. It has been destroyed. I don't expect the rebuilding of the Yarmouk camp, which is the symbol of the refugees in the diaspora. Now take the refugees in Jordan - they are naturalized Jordanians. They have Jordanian citizenship. In Lebanon, there were 400,000 Palestinian refugees, and now there are only 170,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, and there is constant pressure on them to get them to emigrate. That is why they have opened up the UNRWA issue now, and they say to you: We want to eliminate the issue of Palestinian refugees. This is the elimination of a fundamental issue - the refugees and the Right of Return, along with the issue of Jerusalem, followed by the issue of the West Bank.