The United States plans to offer more than $900 million to help rebuild Gaza after Israel's invasion and to strengthen the Western-backed Palestinian Authority, U.S. officials said on Monday. The money, which needs U.S. congressional approval, will be distributed through U.N. and other bodies and not via the militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza, said one official.There are two obvious problems with this scenario. The Palestinian Authority does not rule Gaza. Any rebuilding of Gaza will only strengthen Hamas. Secondly, any foreign organizations operating in Gaza either answer to Hamas or are Hamas run outright.
The UNRWA also, in their own words, employs "99 per cent locally-recruited Palestinians". The UNRWA is actually the second biggest employer in the territories, after the Palestinian Authority itself. (Both funded by the US and other foreign donors.) That means the structure of the UNRWA in Gaza is composed of Gazans under Hamas control.
By 2006 the UNRWA had only 25 "internationals" or non-Palestinian Arabs left in Gaza. After Hamas' takeover and the latest war, that number is likely to be smaller. Which means that the UNRWA is effectively under Hamas control, which Hamas demonstrated when they seized UNRWA aid and drove it away in their trucks.
While UNRWA "internationals" such as Karen Koning AbuZayd or Fillippo Grandi issue press releases from their comfortable offices in Amman, the real UNRWA is run on the ground, and despite the denials from Amman, it has routinely employed terrorist affiliated personnel.
All this has been extensively documented;
This past September, Democratic Rep. Steve Rothman, with a bipartisan group of five co-sponsors, submitted a concurrent resolution noting that "UNRWA has employed staffers affiliated with terrorism."
The resolution cited specific examples of UNRWA ambulance and schools having been used to abet terrorism and mentioned a number of figures, including Awad al-Qiq, headmaster of an UNRWA school in Gaza, "who also led Islamic Jihad's engineering unit that built bombs and Qassam rockets."
However humane the intent of UNRWA officials, they have become de facto enablers of Hamas' terrorist fiefdom in Gaza.
over and over again. Time and time again.
Since many UNRWA teachers are alumni of the UNRWA school system, they often perpetuate the vitriolic curriculum they were taught, vilifying Israel and the West. For example, Suheil al-Hindi, an UNRWA teachers' representative, openly applauded suicide bombings at a school in the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza in 2003. Instead of a condemnation, al-Hindi received a promotion and was subsequently elected to UNRWA's clerks union.
UNRWA teachers who publicly identify with radical groups have created a teachers' bloc that ensures the election of Hamas members and other individuals committed to Islamist ideologies. After using their classrooms as a place to refine their radical messages, these teachers gravitate to politics. As such, UNRWA's education system has become a springboard for Hamas leaders. For example, Said Sayyam, the Hamas minister of interior and civil affairs, was a teacher in UNRWA schools in Gaza from 1980 to 2003. He went on to become a member of UNRWA's Arab Employees Union, and headed the teachers sector committee.
Notable graduates of the UNRWA school system include former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, and Abd al-Aziz Rantisi, the former Hamas chief who attended UNRWA secondary school in Khan Younis and graduated top of his class.
UNWRA has produced graduates like Ibrahim Maqadama, who "helped create the military structure of Hamas." Gold notes that, "at least 46 terrorist operatives were students in the UNRWA schools."
There have also been widespread reports of terrorism from UNRWA-supervised facilities, including sniper attacks from UNRWA-run schools, bomb and arms factories in UNRWA camps, the transport of terrorists to their target zones in UNRWA ambulances, and even UNRWA employees directly tied to terrorist attacks against civilians.
Nidal Abd al-Fattah Abdallah Nazzal, an ambulance driver for UNRWA from Kalqiliya in the West Bank, was arrested by Israeli security services in August 2002. Nidal admitted that he was a Hamas activist and that he had transported weapons and explosives to terrorists in his ambulance, taking advantage of the freedom of movement afforded to UNRWA vehicles by the Israelis.
Nahd Rashid Ahmad Atallah, a senior official of UNRWA in the Gaza Strip, was also arrested by Israeli security in August 2002. In his capacity as an UNRWA official, he provided support to families of wanted Fatah and PFLP terrorists. He used his UNRWA car to transport armed members of the "Popular Resistance Committees," a militant faction of the Fatah movement, to carry out attacks against Israeli troops at the Karni Crossing.
The UNRWA is less of an aid agency that a blank check to the tune of half a billion dollars a year that's poured into the domain of whoever is already in control on the ground. In Gaza that's Hamas, and the situation isn't much different for many of the other agencies that will be the recipient of the nearly billion dollar payout from Hamas.
UNRWA also appears to be in the business of cultivating new terrorists. The New York Times exposed in 2000 that UNRWA allowed terrorist groups to use their schools as "summer camps" so that 25,000 Palestinian children could receive paramilitary training, including instructions on how to prepare Molotov cocktails and roadside bombs.
The UNRWA has already taken the lead in promoting contact between Hamas and Obama. The proposed 900 billion package will rebuild Gaza's infrastructure for Hamas' benefit, and open the door to a Hamas overthrow of the PA in the West Bank, followed by US recognition of Hamas.
Piggybacking a pro-Hamas policy on NGO's comes naturally to the core Obama team. Unlike the more mainstream Clinton dems running the above ground foreign policy, their more radical politics and international agendas link them to the NGO's, allowing them to undermine Hillary Clinton and her envoys. While the State Department may hold press conferences, the real decisions will be made in the White House and the NSC, current power base for Samantha Power.
At a time when the US economy is in bad shape and the US national debt is rising to an all time high, sending nearly a billion dollars to Hamas is nothing short of sheer madness or treason. Yet it's the opening stages of a policy that will empower and reward Islamists across the Middle East.