Staff members outside the UNRWA offices in Gaza City, April 14, 2019. (Flash90/Hassan Jedi) Flash90/Hassan Jedi
UNRWA staff members outside the UNRWA offices in Gaza City on April 14, 2019.

With the mandate for the Hamas-linked UNRWA agency expected to be renewed in December, Israel and the US are pressing for change in the hopelessly corrupt organization.

By United with Israel Staff

Israel and the United States have joined forces in the fight to increase oversight of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which has been run like a personal piggy bank for corrupt Palestinian officials and bureaucrats.This one-of-a-kind UN agency serves only the Palestinians, unlike other UN bodies that must provide services and aid regardless of the ethnicity or nationality of the recipient,

Since its inception, UNRWA has promoted policies to delegitimize Israel, and recently has been exposed as a corrupt bastion for greedy bureaucrats, providing cover to Hamas terrorists  in the Gaza strip and preaching the most vile forms of Jew-hatred in its schools.

“[UNRWA] utilizes the world’s funds for disseminating lies and false narratives against the State of Israel and systematically ignores fulfilling the goal for which it was established,” Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said on Wednesday, according to The Jerusalem Post. “Until the UNRWA gates are permanently closed, we will work with all the tools at our disposal to increase oversight.”

Every three years UNRWA’s mandate is renewed, as the United Nations automatic majority does not allow the 71-year-old organization to close. However, this year, before receiving its expected renewal in December, Israel and the US are asking for changes to be put into place.

These include having UNRWA’s mandate be renewed annually instead of every three years and expanding “transparency into the agency’s budget and expenses for UN member states to avoid irregularities and misappropriation of funds coming from the international community,” Israel’s Mission to the UN said.

UNRWA claims to serve 5.4 million Palestinian “refugees” in Gaza, Samaria, Judea, Jerusalem, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon with its annual budget of $1.2 billion.

It is the only humanitarian organization that transfers refugee status from one generation to the next. Through this practice, the number of Palestinian “refugees” continues to increase as, Palestinians who are born and live in Israel are considered refugees indefinitely, as are every succeeding generation of Palestinian, regardless of where individuals are born or the citizenship they hold.

For example, this means a U.S. citizen born in America who is the descendant of a person who left territory that became the State of Israel can claim to be a “refugee” according to UNRWA’s criteria.

In July, Agence France-Presse (AFP) obtained a copy of an internal ethics report that described “credible and corroborated” allegations of serious ethical abuses by the organization, including some that involved UNRWA’s top official, Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl. The allegations included senior management engaging in “sexual misconduct, nepotism, retaliation, discrimination and other abuses of authority, for personal gain, to suppress legitimate dissent, and to otherwise achieve their personal objectives.”