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On July 30, three IDF soldiers were killed by a booby-trapped UNRWA clinic that housed the opening of a tunnel.


Over 80 kilograms of explosives were built into the clinic walls.

There was no comment from UNRWA on this, but serious questions have been raised regarding precisely how much can go on without UNRWA staff being aware of what is taking place.

On July 26, IDF troops discovered a massive terror tunnel underneath Gaza that was dug 25 meters deep and had entire underground rooms built to withstand airstrikes.

In these bunkers they reportedly found large bags of UNRWA aid – sacks of rice and even building material. (The photo below is from the IDF.)

There has been no comment from UNRWA on this, either. But here it appears we see evidence of the linkage between UNRWA relief personnel and the Hamas personnel who work the tunnels. UNRWA’s relationship with Israel

While UNRWA personnel decline to accuse Hamas of endangering civilians or acting in defiance of international humanitarian law, precisely the reverse situation prevails where Israel is concerned. UNRWA spokespersons and various senior members of the administrative staff have few inhibitions when it comes to making these charges.

A few examples:

“We condemn this callous [hard-hearted, unfeeling] shelling and the extensive loss of life in the strongest possible terms” — UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl

“I also condemn use of force by Israeli security forces on Gaza that cause civilian casualties in violation of international humanitarian law” — Robert Turner, Director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza

“Last night, children were killed as they slept next to their parents on the floor of a classroom in a UN designated shelter in Gaza. Children killed in their sleep; this is an affront to all of us, a source of universal shame. Today the world stands disgraced. “…Our initial assessment is that it was Israeli artillery that hit our school… “I condemn in the strongest possible terms this serious violation of international law by Israeli forces.” — UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl [An alleged attack was] “tragic and appalling” — Chris Gunness, UNRWA spokesman “We call on Israeli security forces to end attacks against civilians & civilian infrastructure which are contrary to international law” — UNRWA tweet

“We are very disturbed that people with disabilities are among victims of Israeli strikes on #Gaza”

The charges leveled at the IDF by UNRWA are precipitous: there is a rush to judgment before sufficient investigation of the circumstances has been done. One can see this in the statement above by Robert Turner. He segues immediately from “our initial assessment” to “this serious violation of international law.”

UNRWA does not acknowledge that Hamas has bases of operation near its facilities and shoots from them at the IDF.

Thus, when there is shooting in the general area of an UNRWA installation, a charge is immediately leveled that carries with it the implication that the IDF is willfully shooting directly at the installation. There is no readiness to concede that either the IDF was shooting at a nearby Hamas base, or that it was actually a stray Hamas mortar or rocket that hit the installation.

Interestingly, it is John Ging, the former director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza, and now the director of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations, who is prepared to be truthful about the circumstances. He told Radio Canada that, yes, Hamas shoots rockets into Israel from residential areas and from near UNRWA facilities. Among the numerous incidents in which unreasonable charges were leveled at the IDF by UNRWA, this one stands out as notable:


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David Bedein is Bureau Chief of Israel Resource News Agency, presenting news items and analyses not often seen in your standard mainstream electronic or print media, even if you live in the Middle East. He is the Author of "Genesis of the Palestinian Authority", published in March 2017 and "Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict: UNRWA Policies Reconsidered", published in May, 2014.