The United Nations
Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the
Near East. LINKS
Researched and Written under the Supervision of Israel Resource
Beit Agron Press Center
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© Center for Near East Policy Research
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees
in the Near East was established on December 8, 1949, by United
Nations General Assembly Resolution 302 (IV), to “carry out…direct
relief and works programmes…” for Palestinian Arab refugees.
While it has evolved into a highly politicized agency, its
mandate defined it as purely humanitarian.
When it began operations on May 1, 1950, UNRWA was envisioned
as being a temporary agency that would dissolve when the refugee
problem was resolved. As it is, by design of the Arab states,
the problem has not been resolved.
A PLO document explains: “In order to keep the refugee issue
alive and prevent Israel from evading responsibility for their
plight, Arab countries — with the notable exception of Jordan
have usually sought to preserve a Palestinian identity by
maintaining the Palestinians’ status as refugees.”1 That is,
most Arab nations have deliberately refused to absorb the
refugees or give them citizenship, and have instead focused
on their right to “return” to Israel. That focus was made
central to the UNRWA mandate.
Thus, UNRWA’s mandate has been renewed every few years by
the General Assembly (GA); its present mandate runs to June
UNRWA reports to the GA. However, according to an UNRWA publication,
“unlike most other UN organizations [it] is an operational
agency performing specific tasks of a governmental character”…and
“therefore has a highly developed administrative autonomy,
with its own self-contained administration.”2 This high degree
of functional autonomy is of considerable significance in
understanding UNRWA’s current situation.
UNRWA operates in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon,
and Jerusalem.3 It maintains in these areas a total of 59
“camps.” These are in fact no more than run-down urban neighborhoods
with two- and three-story stone block houses, built on land
that had been allocated to UNRWA by respective host governments
(in the case of the West Bank and Gaza, by Jordan and Egypt
respectively, which administered the areas at the time of
Currently UNRWA focuses on its role as a service provider
to the refugees, but the residential buildings in the camps
were constructed by UNRWA and belong to UNRWA, which allows
refugees to use them rent-free and to do expansions upward.
The “rent-free” option is so attractive that in fact a good
percentage of current residents of the camps are not even
refugees.4 Facilities within the camps house a variety of
services — schools, clinics, community centers, etc.
While there is variation, a good part of the homes provide
electricity, running water, phone lines, etc; most have modern
appliances. Some have been refined to the point of luxury.5
UNRWA headquarters are in Gaza and Amman; field offices are
maintained in Jerusalem Beirut, and Damascus. There are currently
over 24,000 employees with UNRWA. More than 99% of these are
local Palestinian Arabs, almost all themselves refugees. Fewer
than 100 individuals, in administrative posts, are internationals.
The employment of refugees invites conflict of interest.
Unlike the UN and its specialized agencies, UNRWA has no system
of assessed contributions by member states. Its operations
have been financed almost entirely by voluntary contributions.
Over the years this funding has come from 116 governments
and the European Union.
In terms of absolute sums, the US is the largest contributor
(providing some 30% of funding) and the EU is second largest.
In terms of donations relative to population size and GDP
per capita, the Scandinavian countries, Canada and the Netherlands
head the list. Canada has also been mandated to play a crucial
role in assisting with the raising of funds: it permanently
holds the gavel for the Refugee Working Group, a multilateral
group that is an outgrowth of the 1991 Madrid process. The
Arab states have contributed minimally.6
In addition to its regular operations (the 2003 regular budget
was over $320 million), UNRWA has, since September 2000, run
a series of emergency campaigns.
UNRWA provides for Palestinian Arab refugees at a level that
exceeds assistance for other refugees worldwide. The Palestinian
Arab refugees also have a better standard of living than surrounding
Palestinian Arab population. UNRWA education is superior to
what is available to other Palestinians, and the refugees
are among the best educated of the Palestinian Arabs. UNRWA
provides health care, which is often lacking within the general
population, and a support system that includes both cash allotments
and foodstuffs for those who are in a situation of hardship.
The UNRWA population is, in fact, the only Arab population
in the world with guaranteed health, education, and welfare
When the GA charged UNRWA with providing care for the Palestinian
Arab refugees, it did not define “refugee.” This task fell
to UNRWA itself, which constructed a definition far more expansive
than the one that has been applied to all other refugees in
the world for more than half a century now:
Within approximately a year of UNRWA’s founding, the UN High
Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) was established to take care
of all other refugees. UNRWA, which was not subsumed into
UNHCR, became, and remains, the only agency in the world dedicated
to one single population of refugees. By 1951, the UN Convention
Relating to the Status of Refugees was in place, providing
the standard for the world’s refugees with the sole exception
of Palestinian Arab refugees.
UNRWA says that Palestinian Arab refugees are:
…persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine between
June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means
of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict.
That Arabs in the land for as little as two years prior to
the founding of Israel were counted as refugees is significant.
These people were transients who had for the most part come
into the land for work; they were not people whose ancestors
had been on the land.
The UN Convention says nothing about descendants of refugees
also being classified as refugees. Yet UNRWA counts patrilineal
descendants. We are currently looking at the fourth generation
of Palestinian Arab refugees.
The UN Convention exempts from refugee status a person who
“has acquired a new nationality and enjoys the protection
of the of the country of his new nationality.” The UNRWA definition
makes no mention of newly acquired nationality. Those who
have such nationality (in particular Palestinian refugees
living in Jordan and possessing full Jordanian citizenship)
are still classified as refugees.
Depending on the source cited, the number of refugees who
fled from the land of Israel in 1948-49 is counted as somewhere
between 540,000 and 750,000.
UNRWA currently claims 4.1 million registered refugees. This
figure includes not only original refugees and their descendants,
but some falsely registered half a century ago and their descendants,7
as well as some who have achieved citizenship elsewhere.
UNRWA claims that this number is operational, i.e., applies
only to those needing assistance, but the evidence is that
the number has been politicized and is indeed much broader
Just over 30% live in the camps.; many live in areas adjacent
to the camps and rely on services emanating from within the
camps. The number broken down by area:
More than 1.74 million in Jordan
Almost 395,000 in Lebanon
Over 400,000 in Syria
More than 665,000 in the West Bank
More than 922,000 in Gaza
“Right of Return”
Policy and Practice
The mandate of UNRWA is predicated on UN General Assembly
Resolution 194, paragraph 11, which states in its lead sentence,
…the refugees wishing to return to their homes and leave
at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so
at the earliest practicable date.
This has been interpreted as conferring upon the refugees
an inalienable “right of return.” In point of fact, no such
UN General Assembly resolutions have no status in international
law and are considered to be only recommendations. What is
more, a careful reading of this full resolution as well as
other GA resolutions from the same time period makes it clear
that the GA was considering the option of resettlement for
the refugees along with return. Finally, the phrase “wishing
to live at peace with their neighbors” renders the entire
proposition null and void, as it is patently evident that
the Palestinians do not have peaceful intentions now and did
not in the beginning.9
It is important to note, as well, that UNHCR is mandated
to help refugees get on with their lives as quickly as possible,
which in the majority of cases means resettling them in places
other than where they came from. While helping them to return
to their original homes is recognized as desirable, there
is absolutely no notion that this must be the case.
Nonetheless, for over half a century, UNRWA has conducted
itself as if there were a right of return. And the policies
and practices that have emanated from this principle have
had enormous repercussions in the Middle East. For it has
been utilized as the rationale for maintaining the refugees
indefinitely in an indeterminate status until such time as
return is possible.
UNRWA has not been passive where this issue is concerned,
simply supplying humanitarian services until the “return”
can be achieved. It has consistently and actively promoted
that return. For generations, focus within the UNRWA operation
has been on the places where the refugees or their families
came from. Registration cards included a code for place of
origin in “pre-1948 Palestine.” The camps were originally
set up according to villages as well; areas of the camps and
even roads were named after villages.
And so now, down to the third and fourth generation, everyone
is expected to know where he or she “came from.” And that
awareness is constantly reinforced with a variety of programs.
By way of examples:
In the summer of 2000, busloads of Palestinian Arab refugees
and their descendants were brought from the camp of Dheisheh
to see the homes in Jerusalem they left in 1948. These tours
operated throughout the summer with the cooperation of UNRWA.10
In 2001, a Palestinian group, the Higher Committee for the
Return of the Refugees, was permitted by UNRWA to come into
their schools in order to sharpen the awareness of the students
regarding the “predicament of the refugees.” The program concentrated
on introducing students to the issue of return and “bolstering
their sense of belonging to the homeland [Israel within the
Green Line].” The students were provided with notebooks that
included in a personal information box “a line reserved for
the hometown (sic) of the student.”11 These “hometowns” were
the original Arab villages left behind in 1948, which have
been largely replaced by Israeli cities and farms, and are
most clearly places that these students have never seen.
The message being conveyed then, for half of a century, has
been: Israel is yours, you have a right to return to it, you
are merely biding time until you can go back, and you are
at present being prevented from doing so.
Effects on the Refugees
While a great deal is made of the need to protect the “inalienable
rights” of the Palestinian Arab refugees, in reality the “right
of return” has worked to the detriment of the refugees in
The refugees are discouraged from thinking realistically12
in terms of how to get on with their lives.
They live in a state of suspended animation — they have no
sense of permanency, and are for the most part (some living
in Jordan being the exception) stateless and disenfranchised.
Not only will neither Syria nor Lebanon allow them to assimilate
into the larger population, most shockingly, neither will
the Palestinian Authority (PA).
From its inception, the PA refused to see the refugees as
part of the Palestinian polity. In 1994, the PA made a declaration
that they would not help in improving conditions in the camps
because the refugees would be returning to where they came
from. Subsequently, at a major meeting in Jericho in April
1996, a consensus was reached that the PA would function in
the interim as a special host to the refugees in the UNRWA
camps in the West Bank and Gaza, with an obligation not to
undertake any steps that would undermine return.13 The refugees
were not to be seen as part of the future citizenry of an
anticipated Palestinian state. Yitzhak Ravid, in a 2001 study
on the refugees, reported that the PA is still emphasizing
that it does not want to undertake any activity that can be
construed as undermining the temporary status of the refugees.14
(It should be noted that at no time has UNRWA encouraged
the refugees to think of themselves as in any way part of
the Palestinian polity.)
They are often maintained in less than satisfactory conditions.
This is the case for at least two reasons.
Precisely because the conditions are viewed as “temporary,”
there is an official reluctance to invest much in the way
of energy or expense in making improvements.
Dr. Eli Lasch, who was head of medical services in Gaza for
Israel’s Civil Administration until 1985, describes15 this
attitude: Israeli troops entering Gaza in 1967 were shocked
at the condition in which the refugees lived. However, when
he attempted to improved the medical facilities and services
for the refugees, he was thwarted by UNRWA.
There is, as well, a reluctance to create a situation that
will decrease the refugees’ motivation to “return.” If they
are too content with their current situation they might stop
This attitude was clearly evidenced, for example, in a report
that came out of the Balata camp near Nablus in 1997: Referring
to a study that analyzed the impact of development programs
in the camps on right of return, Dr. Musallam Abu Hilu of
Jerusalem Open University, opined, “it may well be that development
programs have an adverse effect on the refugees’ demand for
return; such programs might lead to gradual and unconscious
refugee integration and resettlement.”16 Return is the priority,
not the well being of the refugees. Amelioration of adverse
living conditions is seen is a negative if it retards the
desire of the refugees to go back to original homes and villages
(most of which actually no longer exist).
This was the situation in 1985, when Israel attempted to
move some refugees from camps in the Nablus area into 1,300
permanent housing units that had been constructed with support
from the Catholic Relief Agency. In this instance the UN intervened
and the GA passed a resolution17 forbidding Israel from moving
refugees out of their temporary shelters, as this would violate
their “inalienable right of return.” But Israel was not demanding
that the refugees relinquish their claims to return before
they moved into the permanent housing. UNRWA simply did not
want the refugees to feel too comfortable or too permanently
Dr. Lasch18 described something similar that took place in
Gaza, when Israel established a department for the Rehabilitation
of the Refugees, and paid for the building of small houses
for the refugees. All that was required of them “was to destroy
the shack they had been living in.” UNRWA however, “was very
upset and threatened they would lose their rights as refugees.”
Were it not for the unrelenting message delivered by UNRWA
to the refugees that their rightful place is back in Israel,
the refugees might have been predisposed to settling where
they were, or in a third locale, and to getting on with their
lives. Evidence certainly exists for this. Early reports showed
a tendency on the part of refugees to be quickly assimilated
where they were:
From a Lebanese journal in 1959 came the observation that
“…the refugees’ inclination — in spite of the noisy chorus
all about them — is towards immediate integration.”19
Emanuel Marx observed20 that by 1968, most of the refugees
had found work, “were involved in the economy of the host
country,” “had become urbanized in the process.”
The current record reflects this process. One-third of UNRWA
registered refugees are in the camps; the two-thirds not in
the camps opted, and were able at some level, to assimilate
within the societies surrounding them. A statement made by
UNRWA’s Deputy Commissioner-General, Karen AbuZayd, attests
to this: “…if local resettlement basically means becoming
self-sufficient…then the majority of Palestinian refugees
would fall into that category.”21
But the unrelenting message regarding their return has been
delivered to the refugees. And so we see also the hardened
response to it — the evidence that the message has been absorbed:
In 1997, in the Jelazoun camp in Ramallah, resident Ali Shereka
complained to a Washington Jewish Week correspondent about
the dire conditions — the overcrowding and the filth — and
then added, “By being in the camps, we show people outside
the country that we are not living free and not living in
peace.” Present was Iyad Qadi, himself a Jelazoun camp resident
as well as an assistant pubic information officer for UNRWA,
who reinforced this notion:
We are living in misery. Palestinians strengthen their claim
to a right of return by staying in the camps. The refugees’
main concern is to show the whole world that they are still
living in the camps, that their situation is terrible.22
The first Intifada broke out in December 1987, in the UNRWA
refugee camps. There is a “widely circulated opinion within
the Israeli Intelligence community” that this came about as
a result of plans by Israel to do a massive overhaul and improvement
of camp conditions. Camp residents, it is said, resisted the
anticipated renovations, fearing that the Israeli government
was making plans to “exile them once again.”23 Badil24 director,
Ingrid Gassner Jaradat, confirms the fact that the refugees
“fear development” that “could be a hidden resettlement scheme.”25
In late September 2000, after the Israeli government had
declared that it was ready to relinquish sovereignty over
almost all of the West Bank and Gaza, an armed rebellion broke
out in the refugee camps. It was fueled by the refugees’ belief
that their future was in the pre-1948 Arab villages, coupled
with the realization that “return” for them was not necessarily
part of the picture as the PA moved forward with its plans.
They suspected their cause would be abandoned.
Quite clearly, the refugees are being used as political pawns
in the on-going Arab war against Israel.
A core population of Palestinian Arab refugee lives on indefinitely
in a squalid temporary situation. Laboring under false expectations
that have been fostered by UNRWA, they are frustrated, mistrustful,
and filled with despair. In an enormous anomaly, they have
been totally discouraged from seeing a Palestinian state-in-the-making
as theirs — they are disenfranchised, set apart. But the UNRWA
policy of “right of return” has proved to be no solution for
them at all. They have been imbued with a promise that has
never been realized.
Rage that their rights are being abrogated has caused them
to be radicalized. Filled with a longing to take things into
their own hands, many have turned to terrorism. The terror
organizations are the ones, after all, that most openly advocate
destruction of Israel and establishment of a Palestinian state
from the river to the sea.
It was 18 years ago that Sheila Ryan wrote26, “Is it any wonder…these
dispossessed people listen to the shadowy figures who preach
the efficacy of bloodshed…when all else seems to fail?” How
much more so is it the case now.
Dimensions of UNRWA involvement
What is broadly referred to as “UNRWA involvement with terrorism”
involves a variety of different and sometimes overlapping
use of UNRWA facilities by terrorists
who are in the employ of UNRWA
on the rolls of UNRWA and eligible for assistance who have
Recent Furor: Opening the door to public concern
In early October of 2004, several occurrences involving UNRWA
and terrorism took place in rapid succession:
On October 3, in the midst of a spate of Kassam rocket attacks
from Gaza aimed at Israeli civilians, the IDF announced that
two days prior an IDF unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) had taken
photographs of a group of Palestinian terrorists loading a
Kassam rocket into a UN (i.e., UNRWA) ambulance in the Jabalya
The ambulance in question had been parked suspiciously some
five or six meters away from where a group of Palestinians
was digging a hole to plant a large roadside bomb.28 “The
question being raised is what [was] this car doing there?
There [were] no injured or wounded people to evacuate from
the scene at this time,” Maj. Sharon Feingold reported. “We
suspect that the vehicle was not innocently standing there.”29
Earlier, an anti-tank rocket had been launched at Israeli
troops from that very intersection, Feingold said.
At the same time, UNRWA Commissioner-General Peter Han-sen
caused a flap when he gave an interview to CBC in Canada,
I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll,
and I don’t see that as a crime. Hamas as a political organization
does not mean that every member is a militant. We do not do
political vetting and exclude people from one persuasion as
Canada — as well as the US and the EU — lists Hamas as a
terrorist organization and makes no differentiation between
various branches of the organization. A spokesman for the
Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs quickly let it be known
that clarification from UNRWA would be required and that it
would reconsider its $10 million annual donation if Hansen’s
words accurately reflected the situation.
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman in a meeting with
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan requested that an investigation
into the situation be launched. Annan complied, setting the
process in motion.
Gideon Meir, Israeli Foreign Ministry Deputy-Director for
Public Affairs, spoke to the press regarding terrorists who
are using UNRWA’s medical system. “We are also witnessing
terrorists shooting out of hospitals,” he said, stating that
Israel had concrete evidence that would be shared with the
UN investigating team.31
The four-person UN team was in Israel on October 10 and 11
for meetings — described as “positive and cooperative”32 —
before returning to consult with Mr. Annan. No information
was forthcoming regarding documentation provided by the Israelis.
It is anticipated that a report will be issued shortly.
By October 13, the IDF, after review of the UAV photos, issued
a statement saying it had regretfully erred in its original
assessment that the object loaded on the ambulance was a rocket.33
It was a stretcher, as UNRWA had previously claimed.
Hansen let it be known that he was expecting an apology.
This the Israelis declared they had no intention of delivering.
While Hansen drew upon this single error as vindication of
UNRWA, the IDF — knowing full well what documented evidence
exists with regard to UNRWA-related terrorism — was having
none of it. In making a retraction for one mistaken charge,
Israel was in no way extending to UNRWA a blanket exoneration;
it is Israel’s intention to remain focused on the numerous
and deeply troubling UNRWA links to terrorism that indisputably
Suggestions of terrorist connections
Terrorism in the UNRWA refugee camps did not emerge suddenly.
The signs of an UNRWA-terrorist connection presented themselves
over a period of time. The earmarks were there, but not many
were paying attention.
Much of this information was unofficial:
The Washington Jewish Week ran photographs of UNRWA schools
decorated with Hamas and PFLP graffiti and with a map of a
Palestine that ran from the Jordan to the Mediterranean, covered
with pictures of machine guns.34
The New York Times revealed that UNRWA was allowing 25,000
Palestinian Arab youngsters to use their schools as military
training camps; children, ages 8 to 16, were trained in the
preparation of Molotov cocktails and roadside bombs.35
The Boston Globe described an UNRWA food distribution center
in Beach Camp, Gaza, “decorated with murals of exploding Israeli
boats and burning jeeps.”36
IDF Colonel (ret.) Yoni Fighel, a former military governor
in the territories, provided information in the course of
an interview with Reform Judaism Magazine. “As long as UNRWA
employees are members of Fatah, Hamas, or PFLP [Popular Front
for the Liberation of Palestine], they are going to pursue
the interests of their party within the framework of their
job…Who’s going to check up on them to see that they don’t?
UNRWA? They are UNRWA.”37
In an interview on CNN,38 Arafat confidant Ghassan Khatib
remarked that every young man in the UNRWA Balata refugee
camp has his own personal weapon. This was because the local
steering committee, an official UNRWA body, had voted that
charitable donations received would be used for guns rather
than food or other relief.
Some it was more official:
The fact, for example, that Hamas convened a conference in
a school in the Jabalya refugee camp, in which the school’s
administration, teachers and hundreds of students participated
was reported on the website of the Israeli prime minister.
Hamas leader Sheikh Yassin presented his ideological doctrine
to the junior high school students present. Saheil Alhinadi,
representing the teaching sector on behalf of UNRWA, praised
Hamas student “activists” who carried out suicide attacks
What was lacking for a long time, however, was the presence
of Israeli military personnel inside of the camps, which would
have enabled them to directly witness what was going on and
to secure more concrete information. Two and one-half years
ago, that changed.
Spring 2002 and after: Solid evidence
In response to an unprecedented wave of horrendous terrorist
attacks in early 2002, the IDF moved to do a sweep of the
refugee camps, from which terrorism was clearly emanating.
The first of these operations was called Operation Defensive
Shield, starting in April 2002; other operations followed.
These operations, and related arrests during this time period,
shed a harsh spotlight on the camps and raised issues that
had for too long ignored.
What became imminently clear is that the UNRWA camps were
riddled with small-arms factories, explosives laboratories,
and suicide-bombing cells, as well as Kassam-2 rocket manufacturing
A key focus of Operation Defensive Shield was the refugee
camp in Jenin. On April 19, 2002, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister
Natan Sharansky, in a formal government briefing in Jerusalem,
described the situation:
…Jenin and the refugee camp of Jenin were the heart of the
terror activities. Dozens of suicide bombers were sent from
that relatively small place. It had more explosive materials,
this small area of the Jenin refugee camp, than most of the
big cities of Judea and Samaria. Definitely, it had the highest
concentration of explosive materials in this area, if not
in the world.41
Alan Baker, Chief Counsel of the Israeli Foreign Ministry,
stated in an interview that, “Bomb-making, indoctrination,
recruiting, and dispatching of suicide bombers are all centered
in the camps.”42
Dore Gold, former Israel Ambassador to the UN, was in Jenin
in April 2002 and himself witnessed the presence of shahid
(martyr) posters on the walls in the homes of UNRWA workers.
“It was clear,” he says, “that UNRWA workers were doubling
as Hamas agents.”43
A special intelligence report,44 released in December 2002,
provided considerable information with regard to what had
A number of wanted terrorists were found hiding inside schools
run by UNRWA.
A large number of youth clubs operated by UNRWA in the refugee
camps were discovered to be meeting places for terrorists.
For example, the UNRWA youth club at the Jabalaya refugee
camp was a gathering place for Tanzim activists.
In the al-Arub refugee camp near Hebron, an official bureau
of the Tanzim was established inside a building owned by UNRWA.
Ala’a Muhammad Ali Hassan, a “Tanzim” activist from Nablus,
who was arrested in February 2002, confessed that he had carried
out a sniper shooting from the school run by UNRWA in the
al-Ayn refugee camp near Nablus. He also told his interrogators
that bombs intended for terrorist attacks were being manufactured
inside that school’s facilities.
Nidal Abd al-Fattah Abdallah Nazzal, a Hamas activist from
Kalkilya, was arrested in August 2002. Nidal, an ambulance
driver employed by UNRWA, confessed during his interrogation
that he had transported weapons and explosives in an UNRWA
ambulance to terrorists, and that he had taken advantage of
the freedom of movement he enjoyed to transmit messages among
Hamas activists in various Palestinian towns.
Nahd Rashid Ahmad Atallah, a senior official of UNRWA in the
Gaza Strip who was in charge of distributing financial aid
to the refugees, was arrested in August 2002. He told his
interrogators that during the years 1990 through 1993, in
his capacity as an UNRWA official, he had granted support
to families of wanted terrorists, on behalf of Fatah and the
“Popular Front.” He also revealed that during the months June
and July 2002, he had used his car, an UNRWA car, for the
transportation of armed members of the “Popular Resistance
Committees” who were on their way to carry out sniper attacks
against Israeli troops posted at the Karni passage, and a
missile attack against Jewish settlements in the Northern
part of the Gaza Strip. In addition to these, Nahd had used
an UNRWA car to transport a 12 kg explosive charge for his
brother-in-law, a militant member of the “Popular Resistance
Committees,” a militant faction of the Fatah movement. He
has since been tried and convicted.45
Evidence has also surfaced regarding Hamas control of the
UNRWA workers unions in Gaza. This speaks directly to the
statement recently made by Peter Hansen in Canada regarding
members of Hamas on the UNRWA payroll and makes it clear that
his remark is far more than speculation or an off-hand possibility:
In the 2003 elections for representatives of the UNRWA union
in the Gaza strip, Hamas-affiliated candidates — formally
identified with the Islamic Bloc described in more detail
below — gained:
23 out of the 27 seats in the clerks’ sector
6 out of 7 seats in the workers’ sector
6 out of 9 seats in the services’ sector
11 out of 11 seats in the teachers’ sector
The overwhelming predominance of Hamas-affiliated individuals
within the population of teachers hired by UNRWA is particularly
troublesome because of their potential influence on an entire
generation of refugee children, i.e., descendants of refugees.
These victories made it possible for the Hamas candidates
to fully constitute the executive committee of the union.46
They represent the fourth consecutive victory for Hamas since
1990 in the elections within the UNRWA union.47
Additional information about arrests of three UNRWA employees
by Israel came in 2003 from the US General Accounting Office
(GAO), which was charged with doing an investigation of UNRWA
UNRWA employee 1 was arrested on June 22, 2001 for possession
of explosives and firearms, and for throwing firebombs at
a public bus. He was convicted by an Israeli military court
on May 27, 2003 and sentenced to 7.5 years in prison.
UNRWA employee 2 was arrested on February 8, 2002, as a member
of Islamic Jihad, for possession of materials that could be
used for explosives. He was convicted by an Israeli military
court on August 11, 2003 and sentenced to 2.5 years in prison.
UNRWA employee 3 was arrested on November 13, 2002, as a
member of Hamas, for possession of a machine gun and for transferring
chemicals to assist a bomb-maker. He was convicted by an Israeli
military court August 31, 2003 and sentenced to 32 months
On May 11, 2004, a Reuters cameraman captured video pictures
of UNRWA ambulances being used to transport terrorists, firearms
(and possibly the body parts of Israeli soldiers) in the Zeitoun
neighborhood of Gaza City during the course of firefighting
between the IDF and Palestinian terrorists.48 Pictures — in
which armed Palestinians can be clearly seen entering an ambulance
marked “UN”— were shown on Israel Channel 10 on May 24.49
When Israelis leveled charges, the UN denied the incident
and demanded an apology. A UN spokesman subsequently conceded
that armed Palestinians used the vehicle, but claimed the
driver was forced into service. Israel’s deputy ambassador
to the UN then observed that the driver didn’t report the
incident until it was made public.50
Information has come to light, as well, regarding a memorial
ceremony for Sheikh Yassin held at the UNRWA boys’ school
in the Balata refugee camp on April 3, 2004. Veiled operatives
held mock Kassam rockets; the families of “martyrs” were given
gifts and certificates of gratitude.51
This, however, was not a one-time occurrence because of Yassin.
What has become clear, as the result of investigation done
exclusively for this report, is that there has been an on-going
Hamas presence in UNRWA schools.
The organization involved is the very same one, mentioned
above, that was delegated the role of organizing the UNRWA
unions: The Islamic Bloc, which works within the framework
of Hamas, is ideologically connected to it, and refers to
itself as a “Jihad” organization. Dedicated to the “Islamization”
of the Palestinian issue and the necessity of liberating all
of the land of Palestine, it has been charged by Hamas with
furthering the goal of Hamas within the schools.52 Its intention
in working with schools is explicitly to prepare the next
generation for the liberation of Palestine.53
Among the activities sponsored by Islamic Bloc are the following:
In the UNRWA camp of Nuseirat in Gaza, in February 2003,
posters were distributed showing the coming victory to liberate
Palestine.54 Two months later, a religious newsletter was
published and 2,000 copies were distributed in the schools
in this camp. In the junior high schools, a “spiritual week”
was organized in conjunction with this, which included a march
to identify with the “martyr” Muhammad el-Babli, who was active
in Hamas and killed in a terrorist incident. Visits were arranged
to the families of “martyrs” Tarrak Akel and Fadi al-Hoajri,
who had been active in the Islamic Bloc and were killed in
In the UNRWA camp of Maghazi in Gaza, in January 2003, a
meal for breaking the Ramadan fast was organized for 80 students.
During this event, movies were shown dealing with jihad.56
In April, a “Jihad” newsletter was distributed in two boys
schools in the camp. It honored the memory of Yasser el-Masdar,
of Hamas, who was killed by the IDF in a helicopter attack
in 2002. This was given to teachers as well as students.57
In the UNRWA camp of Bereij in Gaza, in January 2003, an
Islamic Bloc preacher gave a session for students on how to
bring people closer to Islam; his presentation was in honor
of two founders of Hamas, in prison in Israel.58 In April
2003, a culture day was organized at two schools. With 170
students participating at a local mosque, the emphasis was
placed on the importance of Muslims falling as “martyrs.”59
There is also Islamic Jihad involvement in the UNRWA schools,
as evidenced by this information from the official website60
of the student organization of Islamic Jihad:
In the spring of 2002, UNRWA employees, mental health staff
of an UNRWA school in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank
gathered children in their schoolyard for ceremonies honoring
the memory of Mahmud Tavalba, who had been head of the Jerusalem
Brigade of Islamic Jihad and was killed by the IDF in 2002.
All the children were given his picture, and all voices called
out in his honor. The land shook from the marching feet of
the students: “Be strong,” they cried. “We are your soldiers,
our camp is one great lit torch.”
UNRWA attitudes and lack of action
Benefits to refugees with terrorist connections
UNRWA makes no attempt to determine if its beneficiaries
have terrorist connections.
This is all the more startling because of requirements of
the US Congress, which provides UNRWA with over $100 million
per year. Section 301 (c) of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act,
as amended, reads:
No contributions by the United States shall be made to [UNRWA]
except on the condition that [UNRWA] take all possible measures
to assure that no part of the United States contribution shall
be used to furnish assistance to any refugee who…has engaged
in any act of terrorism.61
not note terrorist convictions on refugee registration cards.
not receive information on terrorist-relation convictions
not ask beneficiaries if they have engaged in terrorism.
Social workers rely on those seeking assistance to volunteer
data concerning imprisonment.62 It would be a most unusual
beneficiary who, when applying for assistance, would be voluntarily
forthcoming about a condition that would render him ineligible
for that assistance.
The Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Peter Hansen, attested
to the US Government Accounting Office (GAO) on July 30, 2003,
that “UNRWA has no evidence that would justify denying beneficiaries
relief or humanitarian aid owning to terrorism.”63
Under the conditions described above, indeed there would
be “no evidence” of a connection of beneficiaries to terrorism
documented by UNRWA.
It would defy credibility, however, to suggest that there
are no terrorist-related activities by and convictions of
beneficiaries. There is such a preponderance of evidence regarding
terrorist activities within the camps that it is clear that
some (likely a solid percentage) of the terrorists are themselves
refugees. Consider, for example the fact that Fatah identified
the Jenin refugee camp as the “suiciders’ capital”:
[Jenin refugee camp] is characterized by an exceptional presence
of fighters who take the initiative [on behalf of] nationalist
activities…they are ready for self-sacrifice.64
Or that UNRWA Deputy Commissioner-General, Karen AbuZayd
is on record as saying, “[everything is] upside down. The
refugees are the armed elements.”65
What we are looking at then is a “don’t ask, don’t tell”
situation. Rather than attempting to document such evidence,
it seems UNRWA would rather willfully ignore situations in
which beneficiaries may be implicated in terror: UNRWA in
Gaza, while denying assistance to rebuild their homes to six
families whose houses were destroyed “during bomb-making activities,”
“did not remove these families from its registry of eligible
refugees or deny them other assistance.”66
However, while Mr. Hansen may be able to attest to a lack
of documented evidence, it is unlikely that he would be able
to similarly attest to UNRWA having taken “all possible measures
to assure that no part of the United States contribution shall
be used to furnish assistance to any refugee who…has engaged
in any act of terrorism.”
In 2001 UNRWA proposed to the US State Department that the
term “all possible measures” be replaced by a pledge that
it would not “knowingly” aid terrorists. With this proposal
UNRWA was acknowledging that it would prefer not, or is not
able, to take all possible measures. A great deal of latitude
is implicit in the term “knowingly,” when the knowledge is
not actively sought. State rejected this proposal but has
not defined “all possible measures.”67
The bottom line is that it is perceived as better not to
be involved. There seems a consensus of opinion that UNRWA
staff would be endangered by questioning beneficiaries regarding
their terrorist connections, and that the cutting off of benefits
makes possible the targeting of UNRWA staff in retaliation.
Thus, what is in evidence here, at best, is an agency mandated
to serve a humanitarian purpose that is being held hostage
by terrorist elements — so that it is literally afraid to
interfere with recipients who are terrorists. At worst, the
terrorist population and the refugee population (from which
the UNRWA staff is drawn) are so enmeshed that it becomes
impossible to separate them. Either scenario represents a
situation that is seriously out of control.
There can be no doubt that some percentage of the funds provided
to UNRWA supports terrorists or terror-related activities.
UNRWA does not screen all employees
The fact that UNRWA staff and employees are drawn almost
exclusively from its client population of Palestinian Arab
refugees is in itself problematic, inviting conflict of interest.
All the more so then would it be deemed important to screen
prospective employees. This, however is not the case.
UNRWA, as a matter of policy, does not perform any security
screening or background examinations while recruiting staff
in the West Bank and Gaza.68
In Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, there is government vetting
of applicants for UNRWA staff positions. There is no such
arrangement in place in the West Bank and Gaza.69 The IDF,
which is in possession of information that might be important,
would cooperate if asked to do so; UNRWA declines to deal
with the IDF, however, as Israel is not recognized as having
jurisdiction in the area. The PA, which is recognized as having
jurisdiction, does no such sharing of information on Palestinians
with terrorist connections.
UNRWA denials and dissembling
The Commissioner-General of UNRWA is mandated to provide
an annual report on UNRWA to the UN General Assembly. When
Peter Hansen wrote the report for July 1, 2001 to June 30,
2002, which covered the time period of Operation Defensive
Shield and the IDF discovery of a vast terrorist apparatus
in the Jenin camp, he never mentioned — even in passing —
what had been exposed. A stunning and calculated omission.
In August 2002, Deputy Commissioner-General Karen AbuZayd
told the Jerusalem Report, in response to the charge of terrorism
in the camps, “We just don’t see anything like this. These
things are invisible to us.”70 This is the same AbuZayd who
referred to the fact that the refugees are armed.
On April 21, 2004, at a conference at the Van Leer Jerusalem
Institute, during his talk to those gathered, Peter Hansen
revealed that people ask him, doesn’t UNRWA know there is
“terrorism” in the camps? As he spoke, he made gestures in
the air with his hands, indicating quote marks around “terrorism.”
It is all “made up,” he declaimed, “to delegitimize” UNRWA’s
A statement such as this, in the face of the documented evidence
to the contrary, is astonishing and reveals a core refusal
at the highest level to deal with the matter.
Rejection of accountability
Peter Hansen in May 2002 wrote (as clarification of a letter
by Secretary-General Kofi Annan that addressed UN responsibilities
in the refugee camps) that UNRWA is a humanitarian organization
without a directive to administer or police the camps, and
as such has no “police force, no intelligence apparatus and
no mandate to report on political and military activities.”72
In other contexts, UNRWA simply denies that is has any jurisdiction
over the physical entities of the camps, and says that it
is mandated solely to provide social services and relief.
So wrote Paul McCann, UNRWA Chief Information Officer: “UNRWA
does not … ‘largely administer’…any…refugee camp. It simply
provides services to refugees.”73
This has become a standard UNRWA position. Mr. Hansen maintains
that within the West Bank and Gaza, security issues in the
camps fall to the PA or Israel.
On a variety of occasions, Mr. Hansen has also represented
the situation as being one of terrorists from the outside
(not refugees) imposing themselves into the camps, or co-opting
UNRWA equipment or facilities, in the face of protests by
Mr. Hansen, in a Reuters interview on March 24, 2002, alluding
to an Israeli action against terrorists in the camp, said,
“Armed activists who were there obviously slipped away.”
Similarly was this the position taken regarding the use of
UNRWA ambulances by terrorists, captured on video by Reuters
in May 2004: The UNRWA driver was forced into service.
Acknowledgement of the situation
The reluctance of UNRWA administration at the highest levels
to confront the reality of what is going on in the camps is
a matter of considerable concern.
At the end of the day, it is inconceivable that the camps
could become centers of terrorist activities without the knowledge
of UNRWA top-level staff. Marc Ginsburg, the former U.S. ambassador
to Morocco and a former presidential adviser on Middle East
issues, explained after Operation Defensive Shield, “Israelis
have found caches of weapons and ammunition in camps right
underneath the United Nations personnel’s noses.”74
The denials lead to well-founded speculation of complicity.
At best, this means turning a blind eye and preferring not
to know; at worst, it implies tacit consent.
There can be no realistic remedy for the problems until UNRWA
concedes that they exist.
Use of UNRWA facilities and equipment
Mr. Hansen’s claim that UNRWA is simply a provider of services
and has no responsibility for the camps falls particularly
flat because UNRWA facilities and equipment — for which UNRWA
most certainly does have responsibility — are being utilized.
UNRWA itself makes this distinction: its website says UNRWA’s
responsibility in the camps is limited to providing services
and administering its installations.
This report contains numerous documented incidents of use
by terrorists of such facilities and equipment. A Shin Bet
(Israeli secret service) report drawn up after Operation Defensive
Shield provides additional documentation of this sort, for
example identifying the UNRWA schools that have been used
for storing ammunition.75
Mr. Hansen would have us believe that UNRWA has no responsibility
for the fact that weapons are manufactured and stored, and
terrorists are trained, hide, and even hold public events,
within UNRWA facilities such as schools and clinics and on
the grounds of those facilities. It does not wash.
There is, further, a solid case to be made for the fact that
UNRWA has responsibility for what transpires in the camps
more broadly. Were UNRWA simply providing services and administering
installation, its own website would not refer to the camps
as “official” and carefully and clearly define each one, down
to the dunam.
In an interview in 1991, Sandro Tucci, then head of UNRWA’s
public information office, was asked about who inherits a
home in the refugee camp when the father of the family living
there dies. Tucci answered, “This is not his property, it’s
our property.”76 (emphasis added)
The owner of a property has responsibility for what transpires
within that property.
Involvement of refugees and employees
It is disingenuous in the extreme for Mr. Hansen to claim
that UNRWA is without responsibility because the terrorists
are from the outside.
While, indeed, some of the terrorists may be, the overwhelming
degree of terrorist activity emanating from the camps provides
strong evidence for the involvement of the refugees themselves.
See (page 25 above) the reference to Jenin as the “suiciders’
capital,” which makes imminently clear the eagerness of camp
residents to be involved in terrorist acts.
Even in cases where terrorists from the outside enter the
camps, their ability to function is enhanced by the tacit
approval of, and assistance provided by, resident refugees.
The camps, quite simply, function in a pro-terrorist environment,
as evidenced by the posters and proclamations as reported
What is more, the very disturbing terrorist affiliation and
complicity of some UNRWA employees with Hamas groups and activities
has been well documented. This speaks perhaps most eloquently
against the claim that terrorism emanates from outside of
has a serious responsibility to this situation and must address
policies of encouraging an expectation of “right of return”
have fostered radical sentiments in the refugees.
policy of hiring from within its client population (and using
staffers who live in the camps and are therefore particularly
vulnerable to threats) has seriously exacerbated this situation.
At a bare minimum, UNRWA must acquire information on the
terrorist activities of beneficiaries, and seriously vet all
Duty to safeguard UN policies
The responsibility of UNRWA, a UN subsidiary, to safeguard
UN interests has been acknowledged by UNRWA.77
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan wrote78 in 1998 (with regard
to camps in Africa) that:
Refugee camps…must be kept free of any military presence
or equipment, including arms and ammunition…
(In light of this resolution, it is close to incomprehensible
that the young men of the Balata refugee camp were all armed
as the result of a vote by an official body of UNRWA — see
page 22 above.)
Very shortly thereafter, the Security Council adopted a reso-lution79
that includes the following:
…the maintenance of the civilian and humanitarian character
of refugee camps …is an integral part of the…international
response to refugee situations…
…underlining the unacceptability of using refugees and other
persons in refugee camps…to achieve military purposes…
Affirms the primary responsibility of States hosting refugees
to ensure the security and civilian and humanitarian character
of refugee camps…
Requests all…relevant international bodies and organizations…to
consider, as appropriate, the application of the measures
contained in this resolution to regions other than Africa.
By 2000, the Security Council adopted a resolution80 that
…the Secretary-General to bring to its attention situations
where refugees…are vulnerable to the threat of harassment
or where their camps are vulnerable to infiltration by armed
Subsequently, the Security Council passed a resolution81
in which it called on States to”
Deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, or commit
Ensure, in conformity with international law, that refugee
status is not abused by the perpetrators, organizers or facilitators
of terrorist acts…
Put simply, it is the sense of the Secretary-General of the
UN, and of the Security Council, that the civilian nature
of refugees camps must be maintained, that the UN is to be
informed of refugee harassment by armed infiltrators into
the camps, and that refugee status not be used as a cover
for those who would perpetrate terrorist acts.
The situation in the camps at present flies in the face of
The UNRWA camps are most certainly not civilian in nature,
nor is UNRWA doing anything to secure the humanitarian character
of the camps.
UNRWA is not informing the UN of vulnerability within the
camps to infiltration by armed elements.
UNRWA takes no measures to prevent those who would perpetrate
terrorist acts from using their status as refugees as cover.
Quite simply, UNRWA is not abiding by its obligations as
an agency of the UN.
Reporting the situation
It may well be that UNRWA is in over its head — that the
situation is beyond UNRWA’s ability to control. This does
not absolve UNRWA from reporting the situation so that remedy
can come from other quarters.
UNRWA’s mandate is humanitarian. This requires UNRWA to place
the humanitarian concerns of the refugees at the top of its
agenda. Reporting on the difficulties in the camps in order
to secure assistance for the sake of the refugees is something
UNRWA should readily do.
According to Canadian human rights lawyer, and The Minister
of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Professor Irwin
[UNRWA has] a responsibility to report to the UN that ‘we
are unable to implement the mandate to which we are charged,
or to fulfill international humanitarian law.’82
The status quo with regard to UNRWA policies and practices
cannot be permitted to continue. It fosters terrorism, is
antagonistic to the establishment of peace in the Middle East,
and works to the detriment of the well being of the refugees
The nations who currently provide the bulk of the donations
to UNRWA are the ones best suited to take an active role in
demanding remediation of what is an unacceptable situation.
This is so particularly with regard to Canada, which is the
gavel holder of the Refugee Working Group and thus raises
money for UNRWA, the US, which is UNRWA’s largest provider,
and the EU, which is the second largest provider.
We are reminded of the impasse to which we have come when
we read the words of former Israeli Government Minister MK
Mordecai Ben Porat, who was charged by Prime Minister Begin
with finding a solution to the refugee problem. In his book,
he concluded that:
…the funds initially intended to erase the refugee problem
have become a powerful instrument intent on preserving this
We would add to this the inescapable conclusion that, as
UNRWA never denies funds to beneficiaries because of terrorist
connections, some of those funds actually serve terrorist
At this point, it seems both prudent and entirely appropriate
for donor states to withhold funds until such time as UNRWA
acknowledges the extent of the problem, and takes on a serious
analysis of ways in which to genuinely remedy the situation.
At a minimum, constructive changes in current UNRWA policy
and practices would require conscientious reporting to the
UN regarding terrorism in the camps, vetting of all UNRWA
employees, and maintenance of records on terrorist associations
of beneficiaries (in response to the stipulations of US law).
Ultimately, resolution of the current problems regarding
terrorism will require realistic solutions for permanently
resettling the refugees.
Insofar as UNRWA shows itself to be ill-prepared to address
the situation, a transfer of authority to other agencies better
equipped to handle it would be in order.
1. The Palestinian Refugees FACTFILES,
Palestinian Liberation Organization, Department of Refugee
Affairs, Ramallah, 2000,p.22.
2. UNRWA document, A Brief History, 1950-1985, Vienna, 1986,
3. There is one camp, Shu’fat in Jerusalem, but Israel is
not counted as a host count-ry — Shu’fat is considered by
UNRWA to be in the West Bank. Similarly, the camp Kalandia
is within the borders of Greater Jerusalem.
4. See Emanuel Marx, “Changes in the Arab Refugee Camps,”
The Jerusalem Quarterly, Number 8, Summer 1978, p. 48, and
Amira Has, “50% of residents of UNRWA camp in Jerusalem aren’t
refugees — yet exempt from municipal taxes” Ha’aretz, January
5. In FrontpageMagazine.com, June 28, 2004, Judy Balint described
rebuilt homes in the Jenin refugee camps that “featured Italian
marble kitchen counters, Spanish tiles…”
6. In 2000, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Gulf Emirates collectively
contributed just over 2%, while Egypt, Iraq and Syria contributed
7. See “UNRWA: A Report” for details on this.
8. See “UNRWA: A Report” for additional details on this.
9. By way of example, note the statement of the Egyptian Foreign
Minister, Muhammad Saleh Ed-Din, who wrote, in the Egyptian
newspaper Al-Misri on October 11, 1949, “Let it therefore
be known and appreciated that, in demanding the restoration
of the refugees to Palestine, the Arabs intend that they shall
return as the masters of the homeland and not as slaves. More
explicitly, they intend to annihilate the State of Israel.”
10. This was documented by BBC, which filmed the bus trips
for a report.
11. Mohammed Daraghmeh, “Teaching the refugee issue at UNRWA,”
The Jerusalem Times, June 22, 2001.
12. The reality is that Israel, understanding full well that
“return” is a code word for the ultimate destruction of the
Jewish state, will never permit the refugees to come back.
13. Ingrid Gassner Jaradat, Director, Badil, in interview,
14. The study is found at www.vopi.org/issues4.htm.
15. Dr. Eli Lasch, “Child Health Services in Gaza,” Public
Health Review, 1984.
16. See www.badilorg/Publications/Other/Refugees/Workshop/wkshop2.htm
for the study.
17. The document can be retrieved at www.un.org/documents/ga/res/40/a40r165.htm.
18. Lengthy e-mail communication with Dr. Lasch in February
19. Al-Hayat, August 14, 1959.
20. Emanuel Marx, “Changes in Arab Refugee Camps,” The Jerusalem
Quarterly, Number 8, Summer 1978, p. 43.
21. Isabel Kershner, “Palestinian Affairs: the Refugees’ Choice?”
The Jerusalem Report, August 15, 2002.
22. Shawn Cohen, “The Refugee Dilemma: A Day in the UNRWA
Arab Refugee Camps,” Washington Jewish Week, July 23, 1997.
23. Uri Nir, Arab Affairs Correspondent, Ha’aretz, December
24. BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency &
Refugee Rights, established in 1998 and registered with the
PA, seeks to support the development of a popular refugee
lobby for the right of return.
25. Interview, op. cit.
26. Sheila Ryan, “No Place to Call Home,” New Internationalist,
Issue 161, July 1986.
27. IDF Spokesperson
28. The Jerusalem Post, October 11, 2004, p. 12.
30. HonestReportingCanada, October 6, 2004.
31. The Jerusalem Post, October 5, 2004.
32. The Jerusalem Post, October 14, 2004, p.2.
33. The Jerusalem Post, October 13, 2004, p.2.
34. Shawn Cohen, “The Refugee Dilemma: A Day in the UNRWA
Arab Refugee Camps,” Washington Jewish Week, July 23, 1997.
35. John F. Burns, “Palestinian Summer Camp Offers the Games
of War,” The New York Times, August 3, 2000, p. 1.
36. Charles Radin, “UN Role in Palestinian Camps in Dispute,”
The Boston Globe, August 2001.
37. Allison Kaplan Sommer, “UNRWA on Trial,” Reform Judaism
Magazine, Winter 2002, p. 42.
38. February 22, 2002.
39. Taken from the website of the prime minister, www.pmo.gov.english.
40. Wall Street Journal, April 21, 2002.
41. From the Israeli Foreign Ministry website, www.idf.il/newsite/english.
42. Charles Radin, The Boson Globe, June 9, 2002.
43. In interview with the author, December 14, 2003. Ambassador
Gold was serving as a consult to the IDF during time reported.
44. Reuven Ehrlich, Ph.D., Editor, “Special Information Paper,”
Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center
for Special Studies, December 2002.
45. Greg Myre, The New York Times, October 18, 2004.
46. Al-Watan (Kuwait) 11 June, 2003:
See also Filastin Al-Muslima (Lebanon) July 2003, p.5.
Details — vote by area and names of candidates - are available.
47. Filastin Al-Muslima, op. cit.
48. Israel National News, May 31, 2004.
49. Israel Defense Forces Website, May 25, 2004, which includes
a photo of the incident.
50. CAMERA, June 18, 2004.
53. Interview with Ahmed Casiso, Islamic Bloc supervisor of
20 summer camps for 3,000 junior high school and high school
students run in 2004, found on www.alkotla.net/details.asp?id=268.
61. US Government Accounting Office Report, November 17, 2003:
64. From the IDF website: www.idf.il/newsite/english.
65. Isabel Kershner, “Palestinian Affairs: The Refugees’ Choice?”
The Jerusalem Report, August 15, 2002.
66. GAO Report, op. cit.
68. Reuven Ehrlich, op. cit.
69. GOA Report, op. cit.
70. Isabel Kershner, op. cit.
71. Noted by the author, who attended Mr. Hansen’s talk.
73. In a letter to David Tell, responding to his article on
UNRWA, published in Israel Resource Review, May 28, 2002.
74. Mara Karin, Near East Report, May 20, 2002
75. Herb Keinon, “Shin Bet documents terrorists’ misuse of
UNRWA facilities,” The Jerusalem Post, December 11, 2002.
76. Interview conducted by Jeff Arner and Sylvia Martin, October
1991, in the UNRWA West Bank Field Office in East Jerusalem.
Quote drawn from transcription.
77. UNRWA document: A Brief History, 1950-1985, Vienna, 1986,
78. Report of the Secretary-General: The causes of conflict
and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development
in Africa, paragraph 54, April 13, 1998.
79. Security Council Resolution 1208, November 19, 1998.
80. Security Council Resolution 1296, April 19, 2000.
81. Security Council Resolution 1373, September 2001.
82. Isabel Kershner, op. cit.
83. Nadav Anner and Mordecahi
ben Porat, Will There Always Be Refugees: A Survey and Proposals
for a Solution of the Middle East Refugee Problem, Merkaz
Hahasbara, Jerusalem 1984.