Providing services is different from compensating for the loss of political rights. UNRWA’s role is indispensable, but its mandate is being exploited. The agency is not mandated to act politically, yet it can be coerced into alignment with colonial domination. Indirectly, UNRWA is promoting the permanence of Palestinian refugees in return for financial assistance to continue its services and ensure its own survival. With funds dwindling and its main donors conditioning financial assistance upon foreign policy objectives, UNRWA will have a difficult time articulating its purported neutral stance.

UNRWA’s Crisis Sidetracks Political Rights of Palestinian Refugees