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UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY (UNRWA) Printer Friendly Page

UNRWA's Anti-Israel Bias
By Arlene Kushner
Summer 2011

The Overseers of Jenin
By Dov B. Fischer
May 13, 2002

How the UN Helps Terror
By Arlene Kushner
November 16, 2007

UN Refugee Agency Poisons the Push for Mideast Peace: UNRWA Only Furthers Palestinians' Suffering
By Asaf Romirowsky
June 3, 2011

The UN's Palestinian Refugee Problem
By Arlene Kushner
Autumn 2005

UNRWA: Links to Terrorism
By Arlene Kushner
October 2004

Blocking UNRWA’s Terror Ties
By Jamie Glazov
October 16, 2009

Dubious Refugee Relief
By Nicole Brackman and Asaf Romirowsky
June 22, 2007

UNRWA: Barrier to Peace
By Jonathan Spyer
May 27, 2008

Jerusalem Summit Condemns UNRWA
By Moshe Dann 
December 7, 2004

Congress Should Withhold Funds from the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)
By Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., and James Phillips
February 6, 2006

How the U.N. Supports Hamas
By Asaf Romirowsky
September 28, 2007

Pull the Plug on United Nations Relief and Works Agency!
By Jonathan Tobin
March 15, 2006

Funding the Enemy
By David Bedein
March 1, 2006

UN Dollars for Terror
By Arlene Kushner
August 18, 2004

How the West Weakens Israel
By David Bedein
October 15, 2003

Day Jobs for Terrorists
By Asaf Romirowsky and Jonathan Spyer
December 5, 2007

Dissolve the UNRWA
By Joseph Puder
May 5, 2009

Forum at Columbia University Whitewashes UN and Arab States
By Brendan Goldman
October 13, 2009

Hamas Complains, So U.N. School Will Not Teach Gaza Students about Holocaust
By Patrick Goodenough
September 3, 2009

How U.S. Taxpayers Are Funding Palestinian Terrorism
By Joel Mowbray
June 5, 2009

Terror and the UNRWA
By Anav Silverman
April 2, 2009

UNRWA in the Gaza Strip is Counterproductive
By Michael Curtis
June 16, 2015

Norwegian NGO Funding: Boycotts and Apartheid Rhetoric instead of Peace and Coexistence
By NGO Monitor
March 12, 2009

The Robbing of Gaza
By Joseph Klein
February 9, 2009

UNRWA's Ties to Terrorism
By CAMERA
January 22, 2009

Media, UNRWA Silent on Attacked Aid Convoy
By Tamar Sternthal
January 21, 2009

Deception about the "Right of Return"
By Asaf Romirowsky
December 8, 2008

Rockets Fly, the UN Lies
By Arlene Kushner
December 2, 2008

The Real 'Right of Return'
By Arlene Kushner
September 17, 2008

UNRWA and NGOs: The Real U.N. ‘Insult’
By Jonathan Tobin
June 11, 2008

Defund UNRWA
By Asaf Romirowsky
May 19, 2008

Nakba
By Arlene Kushner
May 16, 2008

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad's "Education Wing"
By Investigative Project on Terrorism
May 1, 2008

Global Anti-Semitic Nexus: Arab Hate Groups, U.N. and Its Anti-Israel Israelis
By Dr. Gary Katz
January 13, 2008

NGO Monitor Analysis Cited by UK Parliamentary Committee Reviewing Aid to Palestinian NGOs
By NGO Monitor
November 20, 2006

UN Tunnel Vision
By Arlene Kushner
September 26, 2006

No More Ambulances for Terror
By Michelle Malkin
August 30, 2006

Jenin Redux
By Arlene Kushner
July 26, 2006

Major NGOs Skip 'Unfair' Monitoring Conference
By Yoav Appel
June 14, 2006

Funding Alternatives to Hamas
By Ben Fishman
May 2, 2006

The UN Gives Hamas a Raise
By Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen
January 6, 2006

UNRWA Head to Step Down
By Uriel Heilman
January 18, 2005

Mortar Attacks on Israelis from UN Safe Haven
By David Bedein
October 4, 2004

Has the UN Finally Recognized Anti-Semitism?
By Alyssa Lappen
June 30, 2004

 


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HQ Gaza
P.O. Box 140157
Amman 11814
Jordan


Phone :(+ 972 8) 677 7457 / (+ 970 8) 288 7457
Fax :(+ 972 8) 677 7219
Email :
gazapio@unrwa.org
URL: Website
United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)'s Visual Map


  • Agency of the United Nations that was created to assist Arab refugees in 1950



The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) defines itself as “a relief and human development agency, providing education, healthcare, social services and emergency aid to over 4.3 million refugees living in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab republic.” With more than 27,000 staff, almost all of them refugees themselves, UNRWA is by far the largest UN operation in the Middle East. Its budget for the year 2006 was $470.9 million.

Created by the United Nations General Assembly, UNRWA began operations on May 1, 1950, with the intent that it would be disbanded fairly soon -- once the Palestinian refugee problem was solved. In the absence of a solution to that problem for well over a half-century, however, the General Assembly has repeatedly renewed the Agency's mandate.

UNRWA’s major programs include the following:

  • Health: This program “aims to protect, preserve and promote the health of Palestine refugees and to meet their basic health needs” -- such as primary health care; nutrition and supplementary feeding; assistance with secondary health care; and environmental health in refugee camps.
  • Relief and Social Services: This program “supports the poorest refugee families who are unable to meet their own basic needs,” offering food aid, poverty alleviation, emergency relief, shelter rehabilitation, and community development.
  • Education: “UNRWA operates one of the largest school systems in the Middle East and has been the main provider of basic education to Palestine refugees for nearly five decades. The Agency provides primary and junior secondary schooling free of charge for all Palestine refugee children in the area of operations. Vocational and technical training courses are given in the eight UNRWA vocational training centers. The Agency also runs an extensive teacher-training program, and offers university scholarships to qualified refugee youth.”
  • Microfinance and Micro-Enterprise: UNRWA launched this program in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in June 1991, “in response to rapidly deteriorating economic conditions marked by high unemployment and spreading poverty following the outbreak of the first intifadah in 1987 and the Gulf War.” The program is organized around funds that make loans to small-scale enterprises in those regions.

Ninety-six percent of UNRWA operations are financed by voluntary contributions, mostly in the form of cash, from a number of national governments. The largest donor is the United States, which provides fully one-third of the Agency’s funding. The other leading donors are the European Commission and the governments of Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Saudi Arabia and the oil-rich Gulf states contribute only 2 percent of UNRWA's budget. 

According to UNRWA's definition, Palestinian refugees include not only the roughly 700,000 people who actually fled their homes during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, but all of their descendents in subsequent generations as well. UNRWA also counts, as refugees, all Arabs who have applied for relief in its camps, regardless of when they arrived or from where they came. Even when those people move out of the camps (which are more accurately described as towns) and become residents or citizens of another country (only Jordan will grant them citizenship), UNRWA continues to classify them as "Palestinian refugees." Consequently, UNRWA places the current number of such refugees at more than 4 million. Insisting that these refugees not be repatriated into their host countries, the Agency considers their true home to be "Israeli-occupied Palestine." Because of such policies, Middle East Forum director Daniel Pipes has said: "UNRWA has outlived its utility and should be dismantled."

Nearly all teachers in UNRWA schools belong to unions affiliated with terrorist organizations such as Hamas (and other groups with al Qaeda connections). As a result, these schools (and the textbooks used therein) teach children to hate Jews and Israelis and to glorify suicide bombers as "martyrs." Moreover, the refugee camps for which the Agency is responsible are major centers of Arab terrorism. This is evidenced by the fact that nearly all the missile attacks from Gaza into Israel originate in UNRWA-administered regions; the UNRWA-run camp in Jenin is one of the leading terrorist hotbeds in the world.

UNRWA frequently registers complaints with the media regarding the Israeli Defense Force’s alleged humanitarian “abuses” in Gaza, which, according to the Agency’s Commissioner-General Karen AbuZayd, include the siege of Gaza, the targeted killings of “suspected militants,” and incursions into densely populated neighborhoods, causing terror among the civilian population. All of this, says UNRWA, "has badly shaken the society."

At a September 7, 2006 press conference, AbuZayd openly criticized the UN directive barring all staff from having any contact with Hamas. “We should engage with them [Hamas],” said AbuZayd, “and encourage them, discuss with them. This is a movement that has been more or less underground and had little contact with the outside world. It needs to hear from other people and we are discouraged from doing that.”  

In the summer of 2003, the Hamas organization won more than 90 percent of the vote in elections to determine who would run the UNRWA workers' union in the Arab refugee camps of Gaza. These election victories had grave implications: In October 2004, Israel's United Nations ambassador Dan Gillerman sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan containing documentation that Hamas was using UN ambulances to smuggle arms and terrorists through the Gaza Strip; Gillerman also demanded the dismissal of Peter Hansen from his position as Commissioner-General of UNRWA, and called for the United Nations to conduct a full investigation of the Agency.

Gillerman’s charges were supported by a May 2004 televised report that armed Palestinian terrorists who had just murdered six Israeli soldiers in southern Gaza, used an ambulance owned and operated by UNRWA to flee the scene of their crime. Hamas activist Nidal 'Abd al-Fataah 'Abdallah Nizal, who worked as a UNRWA ambulance driver, confessed to also having used his official UN vehicle to bypass security and transport arms, explosives and terrorists -- as did senior UNRWA employee Nahed Rashid Ahmed Attalah. Though Peter Hansen initially denied that his organization’s vehicles were being exploited in this manner, a few months later he told Canada's CBC TV: "I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll, and I don't see that as a crime."

UNRWA's total budget for 2012 was $907,907,371, of which $644,701,999 (71 percent) came from the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, and Japan. As of June 2013, the U.S. alone had given the Agency $244.5 million during the first half of that year.

On August 9, 2013, Dr. Fares Haider, dean of student affairs for UNRWA in Jordan, placed on his personal Facebook page a poster bearing these words: The two most important rules in order to be successful: the first: never give up. The second: remember the first rule." -- Adolph Hitler.  Haider captioned the page: "Military rules for success ... good morning all."

 

 

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