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Op-Ed: Policy Paper for Submission to the UN: UNRWA

Exposé : UNRWA as a convenient surrogate for terrorist organizations.
Published: Tuesday, September 02, 2014 8:43 AM


This is part II of a two-part series commissioned by The Center for Near East Policy Research, sent to Arutz Sheva. For part I, click here.

Operation Protective Edge


During the “Protective Edge” operation, which started on July 8, 2014, overwhelming evidence linking Palestinian terrorist organizations to UNRWA has surfaced. The following examples show how terror organizations hijacked UNRWA installations to use as a front in attacking Israel. 

Opening fire and launching rockets in the vicinity of UNRWA facilities or from its' premises 

*    August 2, 2014: 11 mortar shells were fired by terrorists from the vicinity of an UNRWA school in the Zeitoun neighborhood in Gaza and UNRWA facilities (clinic and distribution center) in Jebalya. (Appendix -1) [1]

  • August 1, 2014: IDF documented a rocket launcher pad in the vicinity of al-Mahtal Hotel in the al-Shati refugee camp. The UN sign is clearly seen on the buildings’ roof. (Appendix -2)
  • July 30, 2014: IDF forces uncovered an attack tunnel reportedly dug from inside an UNRWA health clinic in the area of al-Farahin in east Khan Younis. During IDF searches Hamas operatives detonated 12 explosive charges planted inside the building, killing 3 Israeli soldiers. [2]
  • July 25, 2014: Palestinian terrorists fired mortar shells and anti tank rockets from the vicinity of an UNRWA school and from inside it[3], causing the death of an Israeli soldier. [4]
  • July 24, 2014: The IDF Spokesperson reported on that “in recent days” Hamas launched rockets from the area of Beit Hanoun where an UNRWA shelter is located. [5]
  • FRENCH 24 reporter documented rockets launching in the vicinity of UNRWA school. (Appendix -3)[6]

Hamas’ use of UNRWA facilities and equipment for terrorist purposes

  • UNRWA reported on July 17 that approximately 20 rockets were discovered inside a vacant UNRWA school in Gaza. UNRWA’s press release did not specify the name of the school, the type of the rockets and to which organization the rockets were transferred.[7]
  • UNRWA reported on July 22 that rockets were discovered in a vacant school in Gaza. UNRWA’s press release did not specify the name of the school, the type and the number of the rockets and to which organization the rockets were transferred. [8]
  • UNRWA reported on July 30 that rockets were discovered in a school in Gaza. According its press release (which for an unknown reason was not posted on the UNRWA website) UNRWA could not send a UN munitions expert to disarm and remove the weapons “because of fighting in the vicinity.” UNRWA did not specify the name of the school, the type and the number of the rockets and to which organization the rockets were eventually transferred. [9]
  • The IDF Spokesperson reported on July 26 that IDF forces discovered in an attack tunnel equipment belonging to UNRWA, including flour sacs bearing the UNRWA emblem, that were used by Hamas to conceal the removal of the sand during the digging operation. (Appendix 4) [10]


Epilogue

UNRWA has become a convenient surrogate for terrorist organizations, led by Hamas, which was chosen in successive elections to lead the workers union and the UNRWA teachers union, as the key mentors who influence generations of Palestinian refugee descendants about engaging in 'right of return' through jihad, to Arab villages that existed before 1948.

The Hamas takeover of the UNRWA institutions and UNRWA staff should set off alarms regarding the possibility of funding given by donor countries (primarily the United States) finding its way to financing the salaries of Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists.

Beyond the issue of terrorism, UNRWA and the Palestinian leadership assist through their policies in perpetuating the problem and misery of the refugees. The Palestinian leadership has made it clear that the government will not settle the refugees in the settlement areas evacuated by Israel during the 2005 Disengagement, in order to maintain their right “to return.”

Improving the conditions of the refugees does not reduce from the demand for return or compensation, as it is maintained for the Palestinian refugees currently living outside the camps (as well as for Jews who were expelled from Arab countries). It seems as though the interests of the Hamas government is to use UNRWA facilities and resources, to prevent the dismantling of the refugee camps, despite the severe distress that leads to extremism, with the plan of returning to Palestine. In a situation such as this, there is no justification for the continued status quo of UNRWA, if the organization sees its entire purpose in maintaining the misery of refugees in the camps, and certainly after the deep involvement of the terrorist organization in the last month has been exposed.

An immediate and independent investigation is required into the infiltration of Palestinian terrorist groups into UNRWA, the use of its facilities for the purpose of terrorist attacks and rocket storage as well as the transfer of UNRWA equipment to be used by Gaza terrorist organizations and last but not least, the indoctrination of the future generations to war and strife.

Aid to UNRWA must be conditioned upon changing a curriculum that teaches hatred and serves to perpetuate the hatred, on the removal of terrorists from the institutions of the UN agency and on the organization's commitment to act to dismantle the refugee camps that are under Palestinian control and to rehabilitate the refugees in new and spacious communities. Donor nations to UNRWA that hope to assist and support the Palestinian people, need to know they are not in fact, supporting terrorist groups.

 

[1]               https://twitter.com/IDFSpokesperson/status/495912534222721024/photo/1  https://twitter.com/IDFSpokesperson/status/497502246314061824/photo/1

[3]               https://twitter.com/IDFSpokesperson/status/492734233962487809

[5]               https://twitter.com/IDFSpokesperson/status/492346857952014337  http://www.idfblog.com/blog/2014/07/24/hamas/

[6]               https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE3feo_b8Cg

[7]               http://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/press-releases/unrwa-strongly-condemns-placement-rockets-school

[8]               http://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/press-releases/unrwa-condemns-placement-rockets-second-time-one-its-schools

[9]               http://www.timesofisrael.com/rockets-found-in-unrwa-school-for-third-time/