Government study argues figure of millions refugees presented by UNRWA is misleading; Jewish State doesn't acknowledge 5 million descendants of 1948 original refugees. A government study shared with Washington argues that Palestinian refugees number in the thousands, not the millions designated by a UN aid agency whose funding has been slashed by the Trump administration, an Israeli official said on Friday. The fate of Palestinians displaced during the 1948 War of Independence and their descendants has long clouded US-sponsored peace efforts. Frustration over the issue is among factors fuelling often violent weekly protests at the Gaza border over the last half year. Palestinians demand a refugee right of return to Israel, which rejects this, insisting they settle where they are or in a future Palestinian state. Negotiations on founding that state in the West Bank and Gaza stalled in 2014. UNRWA was founded in 1949 in the wake of the exodus of around 700,000 refugees who fled or were driven out of Israel on its founding as a state. As a result, UNRWA now looks after more than 5 million descendants of those original refugees, in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The nascent state of Israel absorbed Jewish refugees who were expelled or who fled from neighboring Arab countries, while other Arab states refused to grant the Palestinians citizenship. Israel argues that UNRWA perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem by grossly inflating the number of bonafide refugees. Since the agency includes descendants of Palestinian refugees from the War of Independence, it grants refugee status to Palestinians according to a criteria that is not adhered to in any other refugee question. UNRWA has become the subject of significant scrutiny since President Trump entered the White House. Israel says only survivors among the original 1948 refugees should be considered refugees today—an idea fiercely opposed by the Palestinian leadership, which hews to the UNRWA numbers. The Israeli study has not been published and there was no immediate reaction from Palestinian officials or from UNRWA on its numbers. https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5369892,00.html Only survivors among the original 1948 refugees should be considered refugees today ! And we must not forget the Jewish Nakba when 800000 to 1000000 Jews were expelled from their houses and villages in Arab countries.