The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees does little to check whether its staff or clients are terrorists, its former chief attorney, James Lindsay, says in a newly published report. Allegations linking terrorists to UNRWA are not new. Israel has said many times its troops were fired on by gunmen using UNRWA facilities, that UNRWA vehicles transported weapons and that some of its staff members were terrorists.
UNRWA has denied those charges and Israel has often retracted them or found them hard to prove. This latest claim against UNRWA, contained in a 67-page critique of the organization published at the end of January by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, has more authority behind it, because Lindsay was a senior lawyer for UNRWA from 2000 to 2007.
UNRWA has taken very few steps to detect and eliminate terrorists from the ranks of its staff or its beneficiaries, and no steps at all to prevent members of terrorist organizations such as Hamas from joining its staff," he wrote. "These failings have occurred not because UNRWA consciously supports terrorism but rather because it is not particularly concerned about the issue. Its main focus [is] the provision of services and protection of Palestinian refugees," he wrote.
Of course, the UNRWA has denied this and in other news, the US State Department has upped the funding for the UNRWA’s efforts in the Gaza Strip.