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In 1948, the armies of seven Arab nations invaded Israel. They failed to wipe out the newly reborn nation, but Jordan occupied part of Jerusalem and ethnically cleansed its Jews. Among the former Jewish neighborhoods was a small area named Shimon HaTzadik or Simon the Righteous after a high priest who became famous for talking Alexander the Great out of putting up an idol in the Temple. The Arab Muslim colonists who had occupied the area however called it Sheikh Jarrah after an associate of the Iraqi invader Saladin. The Jordanians desecrated the synagogues of East Jerusalem, used Jewish tombstones to pave roads, and seized Jewish property through their Custodian of Enemy Property. In 1956, UNRWA worked with the Jordanian occupiers to settle “Palestinian refugees” in this Jewish neighborhood. The UN agency had been entirely dedicated to caring for the Arab Muslim settlers who had failed in their invasion of Israel and was settling them in violation of international law in the homes of the Jewish residents who had fled the illegal occupation. Once the UNRWA had “resettled” its “refugees” in homes stolen from their Jewish owners through ethnic cleansing, it deemed them to no longer be refugees. The actual refugees however were the Jewish residents who had their homes stolen by the UNRWA.

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