Netanyahu calls for dismantling of UNRWA after terror tunnel discovery

June 13, 2017 Agencies
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday called for the dismantling of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), following the discovery of a Hamas terror tunnel dug underneath two of the U.N. body’s schools in Gaza.

Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visits a school in Gaza run by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Credit: U.N. Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

“Hamas is using schoolchildren as human shields and this is the enemy that we have been fighting against for many years, an enemy that is committing a twofold war crime….It first attacks innocent civilians and then hides behind children,” Netanyahu said.

“I regret that UNRWA, to a large degree, by its very existence, perpetuates—and does not solve—the Palestinian refugee problem. Therefore, the time has come to disband UNRWA and integrate it into the UNHCR (U.N. Human Rights Council),” he said.

During the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, Israel persistently denounced the Palestinian terror group’s use of tunnels dug under schools to launch rockets at Israeli civilians from Gaza. In the same conflict, Hamas weapons were repeatedly discovered inside UNRWA schools. Israel submitted a letter of protest to the U.N. Security Council following the latest terror tunnel discovery.

Netanyahu’s call to dismantle UNRWA came after U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley last week surveyed a terror tunnel dug by Hamas near Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha in Israel, and toured the Jewish state’s Keren Shalom border crossing with Gaza.

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