UNRWA rejects latest accusations by Israeli filmmaker

19 September 2011

Statement by UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness

19 September 2011

UNRWA has reviewed the “trailer” of the latest film by the Israeli filmmaker David Bedein and rejects its allegations. It shows political activities which it claims are taking place in UNRWA facilities but which are not.

For example, it alleges that UNRWA staged an event to celebrate the freeing from Israeli detention of a Palestinian. We reject this.

UNRWA invited Mr Bedein to a meeting on 8 August at which he committed to allowing the Agency to review and comment on his material. Mr Bedein has not honoured this agreement.

UNRWA stands by its robust efforts to promote the highest standards of neutrality. For more details see our neutrality factsheet (PDF).


Background Information

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s Programme Budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

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

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