As Palestinian rocket attacks against Israel continue despite the Israeli cease-fire, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will arrive today in Egypt to convene an international conference aimed at coordinating international aid for Gaza.

While Mrs. Clinton and other world leaders contend aid to Gaza will not be transmitted directly to the Hamas-controlled regime in Gaza and will instead be transferred through the Palestinian Authority (PA) and/or the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), a wide consensus exists in Israel that funds intended for Gaza sent through the PA or UNRWA will wind up in the hands of Hamas and will be used to fund its terror operations.

On Israeli TV’s Channel 1 News Friday night, Israel’s leading political correspondent, Ayala Hasson, summarized Israeli concerns best, saying, “If that funding does not wind up in Hamas terror coffers, then I am a circus ballarina.”

As The Bulletin previously reported last month, a study conducted by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs showed the leadership of the Palestinian Authority remains obligated by the March 2007 Mecca agreement they signed with Hamas. This accord obligates the PA to fund the Hamas regime in Gaza, including the militant group’s terrorist militia.

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Meanwhile, James Lindsay, former legal counsel for UNRWA, which receives 31 percent of its funding from the United States government, issued a report indicating the U.N. agency remains aloof when it comes to its employment of terrorists.

The report titled “Fixing UNRWA: Repairing the U.N.’s Troubled System of Aid to Palestinian Refugees,” indicates UNRWA has never taken “steps to ensure the agency is not employing or providing benefits to terrorists and criminals.” It also documents how UNRWA has never allowed its schools to provide unbiased books for its schools.

The Hamas political party known as the Islamic Bloc won more than 80 percent of the vote in the last election for the UNRWA workers association and the UNRWA teachers association, which further makes funding UNRWA suspect.

Should America aid wind up in Hamas’s coffers, criminal implications could ensue because the United States Department of Justice and the United States Department of State categorize Hamas as a foreign terrrorist organization (FTO). The severe designation forbids any public body or private individual from extending any aid, directly or indirectly, to Hamas.

A case in point: Richard David Hupper, a 33-year-old York County, Pennsylvania native was sentenced last August to three and a half years in a U.S. federal prison for providing $20,000 for humanitarian aid to Hamas, because of its FTO status.

In his defense, Mr. Hupper said that he was supplying funds that would only be earmarked for Hamas’ humanitarian needs, a defense rejected by a U.S. federal court.

When interviewed by Israel television, Batya Ketar, a Sderot activist, commented:

“If Mr. Hupper was sentenced to three and a half years in federal prison for providing Hamas terrorists with only $20,000, how much time could Ms. Clinton get for delivering $900 million to Hamas terrorists?”

David Bedein Can Be Reached At dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com

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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.