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Articles About UNRWA

Make an End-Run Around UNRWA to help Gaza

The US Secretary of State has asked Israel to work with UNRWA to rehabilitate Gaza.

In May, Gazans fired 4300 missiles across Israel, which incurred counter-attacks from the Israel Air Force that caused great destruction.

Yet the absurdity of any suggestion that Israel should work with UNRWA to rehabilitate Gaza defies facts on the ground ; UNRWA in Gaza has been taken over completely by a terrorist organization – Hamas.

Moreover, 82% of the people of Gaza – 1.7 million persons – now dwell in eleven “temporary” UNRWA camps in Gaza established for refugees of the 1948 war.

There is no question in anyone’s mind that the attacks which Israel endured from Gaza during the month of May were orchestrated by the Hamas organization, an affiliate of the Islamic Brotherhood, defined by the US, Canada, the UK, the EU, Israel and Australia as a terrorist organization.

This terrorist definition is well earned.

At no time has Hamas even gone through the motions of a peace agreement. The most that Hamas has done has been to agree to a “Hudna” – a temporary ceasefire until they are ready to resume fighting.

The Hamas connection to UNRWA is obvious and understated.

For the past 28 years, the UNRWA Teachers Association and UNRWA Workers Association have been dominated by Hamas.

The European Parliament, expressing its concern over the increasing influence of Hamas, financed a study of the 2009 UNRWA union elections. In those elections, 90% of the votes for the UNRWA Teachers Association and Workers Union went to a Hamas slate of candidates, placing the UNRWA economy and the UNRWA schools firmly in the hands of Hamas.

Most recently, following the Gaza-Israel eleven-day war during May, funds flowed to UNRWA and to the Gaza economy from nations around the world who wanted to address the humanitarian crisis faced by the people of Gaza, with close attention paid to the plight of children under fire and to their education.

Tragically, the one program that Hamas and UNRWA have worked on together during these months is a massive weapons training summer camp. In this camp, Hamas has recruited 10,000 children (under age 18!) from UNRWA schools to teach them how to fire weapons and missiles in the next round of fighting.

Why will there be a next round? Because the openly stated purpose of UNRWA education – whose schoo books are published by the Palestine Liberation Organization – remains as follows: “the right of return” by force of arms to Arab villages that existed before 1948.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees – UNHCR – has successfully helped tens of millions of refugees worldwide rehabilitate their lives. UNRWA would be converted into a similarly normative United Nations agency if it would focus on building better lives for the people of Gaza.

However, because UNRWA in Gaza has been completely co-opted by terrorist organizations, Palestinians under UNRWA’s care are relegated to a refugee life for perpetuity, raising a fourth generation in frustration that they cannot return to villages that existed before 1948.

Thanks to the rule of Hamas and to the influence of the Palestine Liberation Organization, nations that wish to extend a hand to the people of Gaza must find a way to circumvent terror groups that dominate the lives of Gazans and dupe them into believing that they can build their lives based on a goal that can never be achieved.

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