Stop Giving Money to the UN's Relief Agency for Palestinians - It's the Best Hope for a Palestinian State

(New Republic) Alexander Joffe and Asaf Romirowsky - UNRWA, the UN's 65-year-old, internationally funded welfare organization for Palestinians, should be commended for providing much needed shelter and aid to displaced Gazans during the crisis. But UNRWA should have no role in Gaza's reconstruction. On three occasions rockets were found in UNRWA schools, closed for the summer, and at least once they were returned to Hamas. On another occasion, the UNRWA accused Israel of targeting civilians sheltering in a school when in fact those deaths were caused by a Hamas rocket that fell short. UNRWA's many responsibilities should be transferred to the Palestinian Authority, as a means of strengthening the PA practically, politically, and in the eyes of Gaza's residents. This would be one of the timeliest means of rebuilding the PA in a region where it has been weakest, Gaza, and a way to begin the long overdue process of dismantling UNRWA. As it is, UNRWA is effectively a branch of Hamas. The overwhelming majority of its employees in Gaza belong to the Hamas-linked trade union. An unknown number of employees are actual Hamas fighters. Alexander Joffe is a fellow and Asaf Romirowsky an adjunct fellow at the Middle East Forum.

2014-08-20 00:00:00

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