Once again Israel is being forced to combat terrorists who have committed and plan to commit murderous attacks on civilians. Once more, the locus for the attacks is coming from United Nations’ “refugee” camps. Once again, the majority of the terrorists are Arabs whom the UN has told have rights to move into grandparents’ homes in Israel.
UNRWA Wards By The Numbers For the year ending December 2021, according to UNRWA, there were 6,539,844 Palestinian wards who accept services from the agency, of which 5,807,653 (89%) were “refugees” and another 732,191 (11%) were other people whom the UN thought deserved particular support. Of the 6.5m, 863,708 (13.2%) are above age 60, suggesting perhaps only 2.6% of the total, or 175,000 are actual refugees from 1948 who lost homes a few miles away in Israel, after they launched a war to destroy the Jewish state.
The total number of UNRWA Refugees jumped by about 2.5% by year end 2022 to 6.7 million, while the number of actual refugees continues to decline. The total for West Bank wards was around 1.12 million (16.7%) and in Gaza it was 1.76 million (26.3%), which means that around 43% of all UNRWA wards already live in the area of 1948 Palestine, just a few miles from where ancestors had lived.
The majority of UNRWA wards live in Jordan, about 2.55 million (38% of the total wards), and have Jordanian citizenship. Jordan had been part of the original Palestine Mandate in 1922, and then attacked Israel in 1948 and illegally annexed the eastern portion of Israel which became known as the “West Bank” in 1950. After expelling all Jews from the region, Jordan granted all non-Jews in the area citizenship in 1954. Jordan abandoned its claim on the “West Bank” in 1988, and began pulling its citizenship from Arabs in the region.
The balance of UNRWA wards live in Lebanon (557,300) and Syria (674,500).
UNRWA offices in Jerusalem (photo: First One Through)< > < > UNRWA Camps in the West Bank
Roughly 25% of UNRWA’s West Bank wards live in official UNRWA “camps”. There are 19 camps currently including:
- Aida Camp
- Am’ari camp
- Aqbat Jabr Camp
- Arroub Camp
- Askar Camp
- Balata Camp
- Beit Jibrin Camp
- Camp No. 1 Camp
- Deir ‘Ammar Camp
- Dheisheh Camp
- Ein el-Sultan Camp
- Far’a Camp
- Far’a Camp
- Fawwar Camp
- Jalazone Camp
- Jenin Camp
- Kalandia Camp
- Nur Shams Camp
- Shu’fat Camp
- Tulkarm Camp
The Jenin Camp was established in 1953 and houses about 23,000 people at the western end of Jenin in the northern West Bank. It encompasses about 0.42 km which yields a population density of roughly 33,333 per sq km. For comparison, Manhattan’s population density is about 28,000 per sq km.
UNRWA’s Jenin Terrorists
UNRWA’s camp in Jenin has long served as the launching point for terrorists as well as a safe haven for murderers.
On March 27, 2002, roughly 250 people sat down for a festive holiday seder meal for Passover in the Park Hotel in Netanya along the Mediterranean Sea. A 25-year old member of Hamas from the nearby West Bank city of Tulkarm walked into the hotel and blew himself up, killing 30 and injuring 140. Hamas praised the attack and said Israelis “have to expect those attacks from everywhere, from every Palestinian group.” The Palestinian Authority named a soccer tournament after the terrorist the next year.
In response to the attack, part of a wave of Palestinian terrorism that killed 135 Israeli civilians in that month, Israel launched Operation Defensive Shield a few days later. From April 1-11, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) entered the Jenin Camp which was home base of many of the killers. Rather than bomb the area from the air which might have resulted in the injury of Arab civilians, the IDF deployed infantry into the narrow streets. Palestinian militants set boobytraps which killed and maimed over a dozens soldiers, so the IDF brought in armored bulldozers to clear them out. The militants surrendered on April 11 and the IDF cleared out of the area the following week, but not before losing 23 soldiers.
Center of Jenin Camp in April 2002, cleared of wanted militants, land mines and boobytraps
June and July, 2023 IDF Incursions for Jenin Camp Terrorists
The Jenin Camp was long been a stronghold of the political-terrorist group Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In September 2021, a new group called the Jenin Brigades was
formed and it was soon accompanied by the Lion’s Den. The terrorists groups committed in excess of 50 attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers, many attacks staged under the umbrella of UNRWA.
On June 19, the IDF came to arrest two UNRWA ward terrorists. As the Jenin Brigades open fire on the IDF, the Israelis responded with live fire. Eight Palestinian gunmen were killed, most of them confirmed terrorists. UNRWA confirmed that the majority were wards under its care.
As the IDF left the camp, the terrorists detonated a roadside bomb under an Israeli armored vehicle, wounding eight soldiers. Israel deployed a gunship helicopter to help rescue the soldiers from the hornet’s nest.
After yet additional terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians, Israel launched another incursion into the camp on July 3rd. The 48 hour operation once again focused on a small section of the UNRWA camp, where the IDF removed Palestinian terrorists, weapons and weapon-making factories.
UNRWA Ward Terrorists
The high percentage of UNRWA wards who are terrorists goes to the heart of the conflict: it is not about “occupation” or lack of sovereignty, as these people are in Palestine and under Palestinian rule. These terrorists have been told by the United Nations that they are entitled to move into homes where grandparents used to live inside of Israel. They are frustrated by the failure to get their “right of return” which the global body has promised.
Entrance to UNRWA refugee camp as a keyhole with a key on top, demonstrating that the pathway to homes inside Israel is via UNRWA.
The United Nations has incubated a destructive cult mentality which is leading to terrorism and death. It is well past time to shut UNRWA, and the first camps to be shuttered are those under Palestinian rule, the launching pads in Gaza and the West Bank.
- The Growth of UNRWA’s “Other” Wards
- Time to Dissolve Key Principles of the “Inalienable Rights of Palestinians”
- Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR
- Stabbing the Palestinian “Right of Return”
- “Politics Aside,” It’s All Politics for UNRWA
Related music video: