PUBLISHED: SATURDAY, JANUARY 16, 2010
Jerusalem – A senior Canadian government official has briefed officials in Israel and the Palestinian Authority with the news of Canada’s decision to defund the United Nations Refugee Works Agency (UNRWA) which administers 59 refugee camps for Palestinian Arab refugees and their descendents who left their homes in the wake of the 1948 war.
UNRWA maintains Palestinian Arab refugees in their facilities under the premise and promise of return to homes and villages from 1948 that no longer exist.
All other U.N. refugee camps around the world ascribe to the principles of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), which mandates that a refugee has a right to be resettled in new conditions.
The Canadian government official who announced that Canada would now defund UNRWA cited a report commissioned by the European parliament, which documented that Hamas terrorists have been chosen by the UNRWA labor union to actually administer UNRWA facilities. The official said that this report played a role in Canada’s new policy towards UNRWA.
Canada heads the “Refugee Working Group (RWG),” a subgroup of the Middle East negotiation process which was established in the wake of the Madrid Middle East Summit in October 1991, to oversee Palestinian refugee policy for the 38 nations that contribute to UNRWA.
The fact that Canada has used its position as the head of the RWG to defund UNRWA will most likely not go unnoticed by the 38 countries that contribute to the half a billion-dollar UNRWA budget.
David Bedein can be reached at email@example.com.