Israel Minister of Defence and newly-elected Labor Party leader Binyamin Ben Eliezer has been declaring that the Arab refugee camps represent a haven for killers, and a threat to the security of all Israeli citizens.

Not a day goes by that we do not hear about these refugee camps:

  • suicide bombers who come from refugee camps;
  • killers who take asylum in refugee camps;
  • mortars that are fired from refugee camps;
  • food warehouses in refugee camps which have been transformed into storage bins for artillery shells, ammunition and mortar rounds;
  • Al Quaeda squads which are based in refugee camps;
  • refugee camps which organize official celebrations in honor of their recently-martyred suicide bombers.

    Who runs these “refugee camps”? There is one agency with absolute authority over Palestinian refugee camps – and it is not the PLO, not the P.A., not Hamas, Islamic Jihad or any other Arab entity.

    The agency which runs these refugee camps in none other than UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency! This body was established by the UN after the 1948 War of Liberation, with a mandate to administer ‘temporary shelters’ until such time as the refugees earned/won/were granted the right to return to the homes and villages they had fled in ’48 – even if these villages no longer existed!

    UNRWA, therefore, remains the only refugee agency in the world whose apparent purpose is to perpetuate the status of refugees as refugees! Indeed, the official curriculum of the free UNRWA education system is based on that idea – that refugees must remain refugees until such time as they are repatriated to their homes.

    Peter Hanson, the Danish-born Director of UNRWA, explains that “the right of return” remains the motto of UNRWA, and the cause which unites all of the Palestinian people.

    Sammy Messhassha, Head of Public Affairs for UNRWA in Jerusalem,acknowledges that UNRWA is well aware of the fact that thousands of armed Palestinian Authority security personnel make their homes in UNRWA camps, and that UNRWA does not object to such a phenomenon.

    P.A. media analyst Ghassan Khatib remarked to CNN, in a February/2000 interview, that every young man in the UNRWA Balata refugee camp now has his own personal weapon! How? Each UNRWA camp hosts a local steering committee which is in charge of distributing the funds received as charitable donations from relief organizations and donor countries around the world. And it is that committee which decides whether to provide food rations or weapons with the money at their disposal.

    In light of such evidence, will the nations and organizations which contribute so generously to UNRWA – including the United States, Canada, E.U., and even Israel -now demand that UNRWA disarm these hotbeds of terrorism masquerading as refugee camps? Or not.

    At this time, as UNRWA food storage bins are turned into ammunition dumps to supply armed weapons to the Palestinian gunmen, UNRWA issues urgent memos for donor nations to urgently allocate funds to UNRWA.

    There is one question for the UNRWA donor nations to ask: Where has all the flour gone??

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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.