UNRWA’s Shady Donors

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Hang onto your blue helmets, as the United Nations scandals and outrages just keep on comin’!

Today the Jerusalem Post reports that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which administers UN services in the Palestinian territories, has accepted millions of dollars in funding from groups that openly support international terrorism.

UNRWA is the largest United Nations operation in the Middle East. Established in 1950 and with headquarters in the West Bank and Gaza, it deals exclusively with a fraction of the world’s 135 million refugees. The remainder fall under the jurisdiction of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees Office.

The organization’s Web site describes it as a “relief and human development agency, providing education, healthcare, social services and emergency aid” to Palestinians. It claims further that “the Agency is scrupulous about protecting its installations against misuse by any person or group.”

UNRWA relies on contributions from around the world and acknowledges that 93% of its funds come from donations made by governments and the EU, while 5% originates from other UN bodies.

The remaining 2% is somewhat buried on the Web site, possibly because UNRWA is receiving millions of dollars from organizations which fund Middle Eastern and global terrorism.

Since the outbreak of the Palestinian intifada in 2000, UNRWA has received $510,000 from the Islamic American Relief Agency, a charity created by the Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA). In October 2004, the US Treasury found that IARA had transferred millions of dollars to terrorist networks run by Osama bin Laden, and has since frozen IARA’s assets.

IARA’s chief, Mubarak Hamed, is personally accused of raising $5 million for al-Qaida during a fund-raising trip to Sudan and other locations in the Middle East in 2000.

UNRWA has so far shown no concern that one of its donors is an al-Qaida sponsor.

Weighing in with a donation of $5,076,000, the Islamic Development Bank is a significant contributor. This bank created and manages the Al Aqsa Fund, found to be a terrorist financial channel linking wealthy Gulf-based terror financiers to Hamas.

The US Treasury has added the Al Aqsa Fund to its list of Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) entities, and the fund has been banned in the United Kingdom and Germany.

Could it be possible that following the closure of the Al Aqsa Fund, the Islamic Development Bank has found UNRWA a safer route to reach Hamas with financial aid?

UNRWA’s public records of financial sponsors also list a $1,640,000 contribution by a donor registered as the “Saudi Committee.” This contributor’s full name is the Saudi Arabia Committee for Support of the Intifadat Al Quds, and it has been linked with the funding of a number of Hamas suicide bomb attacks against Israeli civilians.

UNRWA also received $3,538,276 from the Syrian Arab Popular Committee, also known as Popular Committee for Supporting the Intifada.

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