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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
22 October 2014


UNRWA REJECTS ALLEGATIONS OF INCITEMENT AS BASELESS

STATEMENT BY UNRWA SPOKESPERSON CHRIS GUNNESS

22 October 2014
East Jerusalem



الأونروا ترفض مزاعم التحريض وتقول بأن لا أساس لها

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has been attacked after an Israeli film-maker released a film, “UNRWA goes to war,” alleging that UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in its schools. These false accusations have been repeated in various media outlets.

UNRWA has conducted a detailed analysis into the film and we categorically reject the allegations it contains. As in his past discredited films, the film maker repeatedly shows non-UNRWA schools, non-UNRWA students and a non-UNRWA teacher claiming they are associated with UNRWA. The interviews with children are highly “leading” and the translations from Arabic to English are grossly misleading. Other allegations in the film relating to the conflict in Gaza have already been rejected by UNRWA repeatedly and as a matter of public record. For example we proactively condemned the placing of weapons in our schools by militants as a flagrant violation of our neutrality.

UNRWA is committed to fostering human rights and tolerance, and teaches these values through the curriculum in its schools. UNRWA is one of the few organizations that has implemented human rights and conflict resolution training for hundreds of thousands of Palestine refugee children in the complex political environment of the Middle East for over 12 years.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 56 million.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile:
+972 (0)54 240 2659
Office:
+972 (0)2 589 0267
c.gunness@unrwa.org(link sends e-mail)

Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile:
+972 (0)54 216 8295
Office:
+972 (0)2 589 0724
s.mshasha@unrwa.org(link sends e-mail)


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