Israel Channel Two Retracts False Allegations Against UNRWA

20 July 2014
ISRAEL CHANNEL TWO RETRACTS FALSE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST UNRWA

Jerusalem

Israel’s highest-rating TV news network, Channel Two, has retracted false and damaging allegations that an UNRWA ambulance was used to transport militants in Gaza on the night of 19 July 2014. The false report by Channel Two’s military affairs correspondent was pulled after UNRWA presented incontrovertible evidence that the allegation was baseless.

“There are many false reports circulating about UNRWA right now. This is another regrettable example in that long catalogue of sloppy journalism”, said UNRWA Spokesman, Chris Gunness. “The constant repetition of baseless allegations about the UN allows false mythologies to take root. I encourage members of the public to treat them with the suspicion they deserve and I call on all journalists to check with us first before  damaging the credibility of their organisations.”

In October 2012, Israel Channel Two News was forced to publish a similar retraction following false claims about UNRWA’s neutrality record.

“UNRWA is working under incredible pressure right now in Gaza providing assistance to tens of thousands of people displaced by the fighting. Even during this extraordinarily difficult situation, we do our utmost to maintain the highest standards of neutrality for our staff, our property and in our installations”, Gunness concluded. 

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.