May 22, 2018​:
Letter to UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

From: ​David Bedein , Director, Israel Resource News Agency & The Center for Near East Policy Research

Tendentious UNRWA statement

Why does UNRWA, which defines itself as a neutral observer, give credence to the
​​
notion that Israel used “excessive use of force employed against demonstrators, who have the right to peaceful assembly and expression”?

How can UNRWA characterize a massive violent assault on Israel’s border as a matter of “peaceful assembly and expression”?

How can UNRWA define rioters as “demonstrators”

​Why s
hould the UN allow UNRWA to poison the tone of Middle East media coverage?

This is the statement of UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness:

Will the UN consider action against Mr. Gunness for such a partisan statement?

==============

Date
15. may 2018

Statement by UNRWA Spokesperson, Chris Gunness
“GUNNESS, Christopher” <C.GUNNESS@UNRWA.ORG>​”​

UNRWA is dismayed by the deaths and injuries in Gaza today of dozens of civilians, including children. The Agency unreservedly condemns the excessive use of force employed against demonstrators, who have the right to peaceful assembly and expression.

The population in the Gaza Strip has been exposed to the consequences of repeated armed conflicts and a stifling blockade over the past decade. Today’s violence and loss of life will add yet another layer of trauma onto an already untenable situation.

UNRWA is specifically alarmed by the impact the latest developments have had on Palestine refugees, who constitute over 70 percent of Gaza’s population. Since 30 March, when what has become known as the “Great March of Return” started, at least 4 UNRWA students have been killed and some 125 injured.

Behind the numbers, there are shattered lives, destinies and limbs. In many cases the injuries sustained are very severe and likely to result in life-long disabilities.

UNRWA supports calls for investigations into these grave incidents in accordance with international standards to ensure accountability for violations of international law.

The risk is high to see similar violence occur again in the coming days.

Collective international mobilization is therefore urgently required to prevent further loss of life and injury. Every additional casualty is a defeat for humanity​’​

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.

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