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Former MK: Time to Expose the Lie that is UNRWA

Former MK Dr. Einat Wilf says that instead of helping to solve the "Palestinian refugee problem", UNRWA helps to perpetuate it.
By Benny Toker
First Publish: 8/13/2014, 5:43 AM

Former MK Einat Wilf
Former MK Einat Wilf
Flash 90

Former MK Dr. Einat Wilf said on Tuesday that it was time to expose the lie behind UNRWA, the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees.

“UNRWA is advertised as the UN's humanitarian agency, the educational institutions of the neutral United Nations are mentioned, but in practice this is a Palestinian agency thinly covered by the United Nations, which is entirely dedicated to the perpetuation of the refugee problem,” Wilf, who served as an MK for the Labor and Atzmaut parties, told Arutz Sheva.

“The UN Convention placed the treatment of Arab refugees on a special agency, UNRWA, but instead of trying to deal with the refugees and resettle them, UNRWA refuses to settle them in places where they were born - in Gaza, Ramallah and Jordan - and instead leaves them as refugees in refugee camps,” she continued.

“Every descendant of the original refugee is registered as a refugee, even though he was born in Gaza, and that is why there are currently five million refugees registered with UNRWA. Had UNRWA done its job, there would be zero refugees now, they all would be living in homes of their own,” Wilf said.

She called on the international community to stop funding UNRWA, saying, “The Palestinian tragedy is that, instead of dismantling the refugee camps and setting up regular neighborhoods, they are left as refugees with the hopes of returning to Israel.”

“It’s time to expose the lie and for Western countries to stop funding UNRWA,” said Wilf. “The United States gives them $250 million a year, and Australia, Japan and the European Union provide about a billion dollars a year. They just do not realize that their support for UNRWA will ensure that there will never be a two-state solution, because the Palestinians will continue to receive legitimization of the right of return.”

UNRWA was embroiled in the recent fighting in Gaza, as Hamas was using the agency’s schools as storage sites for its rockets. Three stockpiles of rockets were discovered in UN schools during Operation Protective Edge.

After the first finding of rockets at an UNRWA school, it was reported that rather than destroying the rockets, UNRWA workers called Hamas to come remove them.

In addition, Israel was blamed several times for shelling UNRWA schools that were used as shelters. In at least one case, Israel provided evidence that rockets were being fired in the vicinity of the school.