UNRWA: What is it good for?

Our occasional correspondent Joel Mowbray is now working for FOX News. Joel takes a look at UNRWA in UN agency that runs school hit in Gaza employed Hamas and Islamic Jihad members.” It’s an important story that illuminates the deep sickness of the forces at work in Gaza, enabled by the United Nations and therefore American tax dollars. Joel’s report includes this intriguing observation:

There is evidence that students educated in UNRWA schools are much more likely to become homicide bombers, said Jonathan Halevi, a former Israeli Defense Forces intelligence officer who specializes in Palestinian terrorist organizations. Halevi has spent several years building an extensive database for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs of terrorist attacks by Hamas and other Islamic extremist groups.

Though he cautioned that estimates are tricky because the identity of an attacker is not always made public, Halevi estimated that over 60 percent of homicide bombers were educated in UNRWA schools. By comparison, roughly 25-30 percent of Palestinian students in the West Bank, the origin of almost all homicide bombers since the start of the intifada in 2000, attend UNRWA schools, according to the agency’s figures.

Joel reports that someone is trying to do something about UNRWA. Last year Rep. Steve Rothman introduced a congressional resolution calling for greater transparency and accountability at UNRWA. The resolution called on the agency to make its textbooks available on the Internet for public inspection and to implement “terrorist name recognition software and other screening procedures that would help to ensure that UNRWA staff, volunteers, and beneficiaries are neither terrorists themselves, nor affiliated with known terrorist organizations.”

Rep. Rothman plans to reintroduce his resolution in the current Congress. Based on Joel’s report, the resolution can be seen as a baby step in the right direction, unless you are inclined to credit UNRWA’s protestation that all is well with the agency’s works.

UPDATE: Coincidentally, Carl in Jerusalem reports on the IDF firing on UNRWA headquarters in Gaza today and the resulting fire. Carl links to a Jerusalem Post report that the IDF forces were responding to assaults from the vicinity of the UNRWA building. Carl also posts a SkyNews interview with the hysterical UNRWA Gaza director Chris Guiness.

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