Activities of the Islamic Bloc in UNRWA’s schools after Operation Protective Edge

The Islamic Bloc, Hamas student movement, resumed its activities in UNRWA schools after the last military confrontation between Israel and a coalition of Palestinian organizations lead by Hamas (Operation Protective Edge in summer 2014).

Here are several examples illustrating the continuous role of the Islamic Bloc in UNRWA’s schools:

October 14, 2014 – members of the Islamic Bloc at the Gaza al-Jadidah A School (UNRWA) paid condolence visit to the math teacher Hisham Mohammad Hassouna. An official poster of the Islamic Bloc with its logo was hung at the mourning tent offering its condolences to the teacher.[1]

October 26, 2014 – the Islamic Bloc launched the volunteering week activities at al-Rimal B school (UNRWA), which was greeted by the principal and teachers.[2]

October 28, 2014 – the Islamic Bloc launched the Dawah (propagating Islam) week at Gaza al-Jadidah A school (UNRWA) which was called “Your Prayers are Your Life.”[3]

November 22, 2014 – the Islamic Bloc launched an educational program in history at al-Rimal B school (UNRWA). The program “Historical Events Occurred in this Week” included drawing posters featuring events in Palestinian history. Muhammad Dababesh, coordinator of the Islamic Bloc at al-Rimal B school (UNRWA), said that the purpose of this activity is to connect the students to the history of Palestine. The school’s principal thanked the Islamic Bloc for its activities with the students.[4]

December 19, 2014 – The Islamic Bloc at al-Rimal B school (UNRWA) produced a booklet called “Historical Events Occurred in this Week,” in a effort to increase the students’ awareness to the history of Palestine. According the report, the Islamic Bloc intensified in school its’ Dawah activities, its educational programs and services.[5]

January 11, 2015 – Islamic Bloc’s activists at al-Rimal B school (UNRWA) and Gaza al-Jadidah A school (UNRWA) handed out leaflets containing prayers for success in the forthcoming exams. Muhammad al-Habil, coordinator of activities for the Islamic Bloc, said that the distribution of the leaflets took place at the end of the first semester of the school year. Activists of the Islamic Bloc were seen standing next to the entrance of Gaza al-Jadidah A school (UNRWA) handing out to the students the prayer leaflets with the Islamic Bloc’s logo printed on them.[6]

February 8, 2015 – the Islamic Bloc at al-Rimal B school (UNRWA) held a tournament in soccer computer game and table tennis with the participation of 30 students.[7]

February 28, 2015 – the Islamic Bloc at Gaza al-Jadidah A school held a table tennis tournament with the participation of 65 students. Muhammad al-Habil, coordinator of activities for the Islamic Bloc, said that the Islamic Bloc continues its social, cultural and sportive activities and programs for students.[8]

March 15, 2015 – the Islamic Bloc at Gaza al-Jadidah A school held a table tennis tournament with the participation of dozens of students, the staff members and the management of the school, which greeted the cooperation between the students who are members of the Islamic Bloc and the teachers.[9]

UNRWA has become a convenient surrogate for terrorist organizations, led by Hamas, which was chosen in successive elections to lead the workers union and the UNRWA teachers union, as the key mentors who influence generations of Palestinian refugee descendants to engage in a ‘right of return’ through jihad, to Arab villages that existed before 1948.

The Hamas takeover of the UNRWA institutions and UNRWA staff should set off an alarm regarding the possibility of funding given by donor countries (primarily the United States) finding its way to finance the salaries of Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists.

Beyond the issue of terrorism, UNRWA and the Palestinian leadership assist through their policies in perpetuating the problem and misery of the refugees. The Palestinian leadership has made it clear that its regime will not settle the refugees – not even in the settlement areas evacuated by Israel during the 2005 Disengagement, in order to maintain their “right of return.”

Hamas’ Islamic Bloc continues its’ activities in schools run by UNRWA in the Gaza Strip after Operation Protective Edge, and these activities are carried out with the support and cooperation of the schools’ staff and management.

Improving the conditions of the refugees does not reduce from the demand for return or compensation, as it is maintained for the Palestinian refugees currently living outside the camps (as well as for Jews who were expelled from Arab countries). The interest of the Hamas regime is to use UNRWA facilities and resources, to prevent dismantling of UNRWA refugee facilities, despite the severe distress that leads to extremism, with the plan of returning to Palestine.

In a situation such as this, there is no justification for the continued status quo of UNRWA, if the organization sees its entire purpose in maintaining the misery of refugees in their camps, certainly after the deep involvement of the terrorist organization which operates inside UNRWA has been exposed.

An immediate and independent investigation is required into the incursion of Palestinian terrorist groups into UNRWA, the use of its facilities for the purpose of terrorist attacks and rocket storage, as well as the transfer of UNRWA equipment to be used by Gaza terrorist organizations and last but not least, the indoctrination of the future generations to war and strife.

Aid to UNRWA must be conditioned upon changing a curriculum that teaches to perpetual war, on the removal of terrorists from the institutions of the UN agency and on the organization’s commitment to act to dismantle the Palestinian refugee camps and to rehabilitate the refugees in new and spacious communities.

Donor nations to UNRWA that hope to assist and support the Palestinian people, need to know they are not in fact, supporting terrorist groups.