Israel Resource Review 31st March, 2003


Terrorist Organizations use UNRWA officials and Facilities to Carry out Terrorist Activities
Dr Reuven Ehrlich
Head of Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center

[Once the Iraqi campaign winds down, the situation of the Palestinian Arab refugees who are hosted by the UNRWA refugee camps will be on the middle east political agenda - D.B.]


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Inside UNRWA:
Special Investigative Report
by Israel Resource News Agency

UNRWA, founded as a humanitarian agency, has subordinated its role as a service provider to a political agenda:

  • It is the only UN agency dedicated exclusively to one group of refugees and establishes its own unique and expansive standards.

    As a result, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, who would not be counted as refugees anywhere else in the world (including descendants of refugees) are registered by UNRWA as refugees.

  • It is predicated upon the notion of the "right of return"- a right that in fact does not exist within international law.

    As a result, it maintains a policy of keeping the refugees in a temporary situation until they can return to homes and villages in Israel left more than half a century ago (the vast majority of which no longer exist).

    It will not work to find realistic solutions to the plight of the refugees and will not consider resettlement as an option. Instead, it reinforces the goal of return with a number of practices within its 59 UNRWA refugee camps.

UNRWA has perpetuated the problems of the refugees:

  • Palestinian Arab refugees and their descendants cannot get on with their lives. They live in "limbo," deprived of basic human rights.

UNRWA has fomented terrorism among the Palestinians:

  • Refugees, encouraged by UNRWA to see themselves as entitled to a "return" that will never happen, believe they are being cheated.

    As a result, they are filled with frustration and rage, and turn to radicalism.

  • Most of the 23,000 employees of UNRWA are themselves refugees, and they too are often associated with terrorist groups such as Hamas.

  • It is in the UNRWA refugee camps that bombs are manufactured, recruitment is done, and suicide bombers are dispatched.

There will be no resolution of the current Palestinian-Israeli crisis, no genuine cessation of violence, until the refugee issue is realistically resolved.

  • UNRWA officials dissemble on these issues, claiming to have no responsibility for what is transpiring-which in fact is not the case.

    They rarely even acknowledge the extent of the problem. The degree to which they turn a blind eye is suggestive of tacit approval if not complicity.

    It is time for an aroused international community to hold UNRWA accountable. The committed involvement of major UNRWA funders will be key.

Read the full report here.

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