Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), on Thursday, condemned the announced plan of the Israeli municipality in occupied Jerusalem, to replace UNRWA-run schools.

“The announced plan of the so-called Israeli municipality in occupied Jerusalem, to replace UNRWA-run schools, is an extension of the Israeli establishment’s campaign of aggression against Palestinian rights and roots in the City,” Ashrawi said in a statement. “It is also an assault on multilateral institutions and international law.”

She continued, according to Days of Palestine: “This reprehensible plan also embodies the Israeli establishment’s disdain for the United Nations, rejection of Palestinian rights, and illegal actions aimed at altering the historic, cultural, and demographic composition of occupied Jerusalem.”

Ashrawi stressed the fact that “the UNRWA is a UN organization mandated by the United Nations member states to serve Palestine refugees, who were ethnically cleansed and uprooted from their homes by Israel in 1948, until a just and agreed on solution is reached in line with international law.

“Despite Israel’s fervent efforts to smear and incite against this important organization, UNRWA’s mandate was recently renewed by the vast majority of UN member states. Obstructing the work of this UN agency is unacceptable and illegitimate.”

She continued, “As an illegal occupying power, Israel has no sovereignty or jurisdiction over any inch of occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and its powers and responsibilities are defined by international humanitarian law, not by force and coercion. It must cease all its illegal and provocative measures in occupied Jerusalem, including its campaign against international agencies serving Palestinians, in addition to previous closures of educational and cultural offices there.”

“The Palestinian leadership will endeavor to prevent these hostile plans from materializing and we call on all states to defend the mandate they approved for UNRWA’s continued and unobstructed operations in all its fields of operation.”