Add strings to Gaza donor funding: Bedein

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Donors should insist on auditing the organisation; introduce UNHCR standards to UNRWA; cancel jihadist curriculum & dismiss employees affiliated with Hamas says David Bedein. UNRWA teaches principles of Jihad & martyrdom in a UN school system which is supposed to promote the UNRWA slogan of “Peace Starts Here”. In reality, the UN agency’s education programme includes paramilitary training. UNRWA should be required to demonstrate a commitment to the sacred UN principles of peace and reconciliation, says Bedein. Read more...
by ANT KATZ | Oct 18, 2014

UNRWA, the United Nations Relief Works Agency, runs refugee facilities for five million descendants of Arab refugees of the 1948 war.

Unrwa human rights except for Jews longMore than 1 200 000 of these refugee descendants “dwell in UNRWA facilities in Gaza, where they have wallowed in 'temporary’ Gaza refugee camps for 66 years”, says David Bedein, director of the Jerusalem-based Centre for Near East Policy Research, “while UNRWA focuses its energy on the right of Arab refugees to liberate Arab villages which have since been replaced by Israel.”

He believes that UNRWA should be working on the resettling of these refugees like all other UN refugee organisations do.

Following the Israel-Gaza summer war, UNRWA has asked the international community at a Gaza donors conference for $1,6 bil to rebuild their own refugee facilitates in Gaza.

Many (or most) of these are the same facilities that Israel says had been bombed because they had been used to house or store missiles, used as firing sites or as Hamas command structures.



Bedein is calling on potential donors to consider predicating any assistance to UNRWA on four reasonable conditions:

Firstly: Audit all funds which flow to UNRWA, which operates on a $1,2 bil budget. “The lack of a current UNRWA audit allows for wasted resources, duplicity of service and a flow of cash to Gaza based terror groups,” says Bedein.

Unrwa logo longThe phenomenon of unaccounted millions allocated for humanitarian aid needs to be challenged. 

Second: Introduce UNHCR standards to UNRWA, to encourage refugee resettlement, which current UNRWA policy does not allow. As UNRWA policy would have it, permanent refugee settlement interferes with the sanctity of the UNRWA promise of the "right of return" to Arab villages that existed before 1948, says Bedein.

There have been an increasing number of calls over the past few years for UNRWA to be incorporated into the UNHCR and be bound by the latter’s codes of practice.

Bedein’s third recommendation: Cancel the current UNRWA curriculum, “which now incorporates principles of jihad, martyrdom and the right of return”, in a UN school system which is supposed to promote the UNRWA slogan of "Peace Starts Here".

An integral part of current UNRWA education in Gaza, says Bedein, involves paramilitary training in Gaza-based UNRWA schools. UNRWA, as a UN agency, should be required to demonstrate a commitment to the sacred UN principles of peace and reconciliation

Dismiss Hamas

Finally, says Bedein, donors should insist that UNRWA dismiss employees affiliated with Hamas, “in accordance with laws on the books in the US, the EU, Canada, Australia and the UK, each of which have adopted binding  legislation which forbids aid to any agency that employs members of a terrorist organisation”.

These laws have been ignored by donor nations to UNRWA for 15 years, he says, even though Hamas overwhelmingly took over the UNRWA trade union in Gaza and the UNRWA Teachers Association in Gaza in successive elections since 1999.
Israel - Dont

  • David Bedein is the director of the Centre for Near East Policy Research and the Israel Resource News Agency. He is the author of “ROADBLOCK TO PEACE How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict: UNRWA Policies Reconsidered” (published in May 2014) and the producer of two films: “Camp Jihad: The UNRWA Summer Season” (August 2013) and “UNRWA Goes to War” to be released on October 20 2014.  

1 Comment

  1. 1 nat cheiman 01 Jan
    I respectfully disagree. Let the world fund Hamas and gaza. What will the Israelis bomb if the Palestinians don't rebuild? Also, the concrete is required for tunnels by Hamas. The IDF already know about this. It will be an opportunity to trap as many Hamas soldiers in these tunnels and and implode them onto these war mongers.
    The UN of course will also deny that there are Hamas members employed by it. But soon, there won't be a UN (in my opinion) 


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