Over that past month, members of the US House Middle East Subcommittee raised concerns that humanitarian aid does not reach the Palestinian population, especially in Gaza.

The Center for Near East Policy Research, CFNEPR, contacted 44 nations who donate humanitarian aid to the Palestinian population in Gaza through UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, to determine if any donor nation had cut back on its donations to the Palestinians in Gaza. 75% of the Gaza population dwells in UNRWA facilities.

With the exception of the US, which has cut back on 20% of its donations to UNRWA, every single diplomatic legation that donates to UNRWA responded emphatically that they are not cutting back one penny from aid to UNRWA.

After tabulating the responses from the diplomatic community, CFNEPR calculates that the 1.2 billion dollar UNRWA budget flows like water from the donor to the five million people who benefit from UNRWA health, education and welfare programs – in Gaza, Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

This is the breakdown of donor funds to UNRWA from this past year:
https://www.unrwa.org/sites/default/files/overalldonor_ranking.pdf

However, despite assurances of continued cash flow, UNRWA still proclaims to the media that it is bereft of resources to provide basic services. UNRWA Media Adviser Adnan Abu Hasna declared that UNRWA lacks basic food products and that the people of Gaza “have nothing to lose,” adding that “we don’t know yet whether school will open in the coming year…We’re talking about 300,000 students who need to go to school.”(1)

Why , then, does UNRWA claim that it is does not have funds for humanitarian needs?

The answer may lie with Hamas, the terror group now taking credit for bombing civilian communities, which has controlled the workers association and teachers association of UNRWA in Gaza since 1999.

Last week, Hamas launched a massive military training program for UNRWA students which commenced on July 14. (2)

Venue of the Hamas military training program for UNRWA students is along the Gaza fence, placing UNRWA pupils in harm’s way, in violation of treaties that protect the rights of the child.

In the 2015 film, Children’s Army of Hamas (3), a Hamas cabinet member praised cooperation with UNRWA in the 2015 military training program for Hamas, which can be seen at 5:40

Military training for UNRWA students will last until the launch of the school year at the end of August, which will include 120,000 children from the UNRWA schools for the summer.

Questions to all funders of UNRWA(4):

1. Will you verify if funds for UNRWA were diverted to the arms training program for UNRWA students?

2. Will you ask if it is appropriate for a UN agency to allow Hamas on the payroll?

3. Will you ask if is appropriate for a UN agency to hold paramilitary exercises on grounds of UN schools?


(1) https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5310037,00.html

(2) https://www.terrorism-info. org.il/en/hamas-announced- opening-summer-camps-children- adolescents-gaza-strip-year- summer-camps-inspired-return- marches-include-military- training-every/

(3) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iO4UKXmr8zk

(4) Funders of UNRWA: https://tinyurl.com/ycps9ssh

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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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