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International Business Times on PMW bulletin about UNRWA
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Israel Update: UN Agency Denies It Supports Wiping Israel Off The Map

by Maya Shwayder

[...] On Monday, the director of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees was photographed with a map titled “Arab Palestine,” at an event announcing a new donation of $4.5 million by Germany to rehabilitate shelters and the water network at a refugee camp in Lebanon. The map showed an outline of current Israeli territory, but displayed the current Palestinian flag.

But in a statement released on Tuesday, the UNRWA rejected what they called “baseless allegations of erasing Israel from the map.” “The map in question is an embroidery depicting a pre-1948 map and therefore ante-dates the creation of the state of Israel.”

Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Ron Prosor filed an official complaint on Wednesday with U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-Moon over the picture, writing, “You don’t need to have a PhD in geography to understand that a map of the Middle East that omits any mention of the state of Israel, is a scandal. It cannot be that an international organization like UNRWA, which is supposed to remain neutral, is party to a provocation that tries to erase Israel from the map.”

Palestinian Media Watch, which originally reported on the picture, in turn rejected the UNRWA’s rejection of their accusations, saying in a statement on Friday, “UNRWA spokesperson [Christopher] Gunness' justification that the map ‘depict[s] a pre-1948 map’ is baseless, as the map includes the PLO-PA [Palestinian Liberation Organization -- Palestinian Authority] flag and not a British flag.”

Prior to the creation of Israel in 1948, the land that is currently Israel was the British Mandate of Palestine, and was under British control.