UNRWA records are replete with scandals, like the Gaza employee who used its travel permit to fly to Syria and Jordan to meet other terror groups, and another who headed UNRWA’s employee union while sitting on Hamas’s Politburo. 
 
The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees is digging itself deeper into a hole as fresh evidence shines light on an organization with deep-seated links to terrorists and no pathway to solve the problem.
 
UNRWA’s chief Philippe Lazzarini is trying to shield the troubled relief agency from scrutiny even as Israeli security confiscates six military drones hidden in a UNRWA humanitarian shipment that entered Israel from Jordan this week.
 
Our own research into UNRWA has produced nuggets of scandalous details that portray an organization that has been rescued many times only to see its links to Hamas grow deeper. 

1. In 2004, UNRWA Chief Admitted Terror Links.

Peter Hansen, a predecessor to Philippe Lazzarini, the incumbent Commissioner-General of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, shocked the international community in October 2004 when he defended the policy of giving U.N. jobs to members of terrorist groups. Hansen told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC): 

“Oh I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll, and I don’t see that as a crime. Hamas as a political organization does not mean that every member is a militant and we do not do political vetting and exclude people from one persuasion as against another. We demand of our staff, whatever their political persuasion is, that they behave in accordance with UN standards and norms for neutrality.”

See: Canada looking at UN agency over Palestinian connection.

2. Lazzarini Assured The World About ‘Solid Monitoring Mechanisms’. Now Hamas Tunnel Found Under UNRWA’s Office. 

On Oct. 28, 2023, Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said UNRWAhas “solid monitoring mechanisms” in place to prevent Hamas from abusing the facilities of the UN refugee agency. 

That statement did not age well.

On Jan. 28, 2024, Israel’s military found links between UNRWA staffers and the Oct. 7 attack. 

On Feb. 10, 2024, a Hamas tunnel under UNRWA headquarters in Gaza was unearthed.

On Feb. 10, 2024, Lazzarini abandoned any talk of “solid monitoring mechanisms” and instead pleaded lack of expertise in inspecting UNRWA’s facilities for abuse and hinted that the tunnels might have sprung up after the agency left the building following the war on Oct. 7.

On Feb. 11, 2024, the Israeli government countered suggesting that evidencewas shown to UN officials and that Lazzarini was aware of Hamas linked to UNRWA sites.

3. A UNRWA Chief Was Fired For Being ‘Soft on Terrorists’
 
The current UNRWA chief Lazzarini says he will not resign after his staff participated in Hamas’s war on Israel and the discovery of a Hamas tunnel under its Gaza headquarters. But exactly 19 years ago, in January 2005, then UNRWA chief Peter Hansen was forced to leave his job after the Canadian Government expressed alarm at Hansen’s Hamas-sympathetic remarks, and the U.S. Government reportedly blocked his reappointment. 
 
See: European Parliament Question on Failure to re-appoint Peter Hansen as UNRWA Commissioner-General and The Guardian’s report Bush forces UN refugee chief to go.

4. UNRWA’s Gaza Union Head Outed As Hamas Politburo Member.

In February 2017, Israeli government released information that Suhail Al-Hindi, UNRWA employee in Gaza and the chairman of its employees union, was a Hamas politburo member. UNRWA suspended him for two months pending a probe. Al-Hindi maintained he had nothing to do with Hamas and promised to sue his accusers.

In April 2017, Al-Hindi, quietly resigned, and UNRWA refused to say why. The matter was hushed.

Five years later, in April 2022, Al-Hindi pops up in an Aljazeera interview, introduced as a “member of Hamas’s political bureau.” 

Israeli intelligence was correct back in 2017 but UNRWA walked scot-free.

When he was first caught, Al-Hindi’s words in self-defense reflected the hollow emotional outcry deployed in UNRWA’s defense today in some quarters: “I have no relation to that issue in any way and I will sue the parties that are throwing around my name on social media and news sites.”

5. The Hamas Militant Who Traveled Internationally As UNRWAEmployee.

Have you heard about UNRWA’s Gaza officer, a Hamas member, who transported arms and explosives freely using his UN car and travel permit?

His name is Nahed Rashid Ahmed Attallah, UNRWA’s director of food supplies for Gaza refugees, caught in September 2002. He used his UN credentials to travel between Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria where he hooked up with the Damascus-backed Popular Resistance Committee to plot attacks inside Israel.

Thirteen Gaza-based terrorists arrested between 1999 and 2003 were found to be UNRWA employees.

In 2004, Matthew Levitt, a counterterrorism and intelligence expert at the Washington Institute, laid out the cases of Attallah and others in a policy analysis titled, Terror on the UN Payroll?. Worth reading.

6. UNRWA Is A 60 Years Old ‘Temporary’ Organization That Perpetuates, Not Resolves, Conflict.

Palestinian refugees came into existence not because of Israel but because the Palestinians in 1948 were misled by extremists in the region to reject a UN plan to establish a state, and instead chose war with the Jewish state.

There were 600,000 refugees from the war the Palestinians started. UNRWAhas turned them into 5.4 million individuals [in 2018 figures]. UNRWA was supposed to be a temporary organization meant to help resettle refugees. Instead, today, it employs militants, indoctrinates young Palestinians to hate Jews and Israel, and prevents peace agreements by promoting unrealistic ideas such as the ‘right to return’, which in many respects is in violation of the 1951 Refugee Convention.

In 2018, the United States Government ended all aid to UNRWA and decided to help the Palestinians directly or through other relief organizations. The Heritage Foundation published an excellent brief listing the reasons why that was a good idea.

… Also, Check This
 
Daniel Rosen, President of the American Jewish Congress, welcomed President Biden’s decision to suspend U.S. aid to UNRWA pending the results of a probe on the U.N. agency’s links to Hamas. See:
PRESS RELEASE: UNRWA Is Part of the Problem. American Jewish Congress Joins Calls to Dissolving It to Create and Fund a New Humanitarian Solution.
 
And This
 
NEWSLETTER: UNRWA Funneled Our Aid To Terrorists In Gaza.

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