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Palestinian Refugee Accuses UNRWA And PA of Corruption

No surprises here, but it is refreshing to hear it from a palestinian who would know.

I have no space for I am living in a refugee camp. Why I am living here? After 68 years of conflict, it is a shame to be considered a refugee and living this life.”

According to this Palestinian refugee, there is a golden opportunity to turn the UNRWA camp where this person is living into a paradise but that chance is being squandered: “For 69 years, the Palestinian Authority is taking a lot of money because of me. They are using me to get more funds in my name. I don’t see any changes for the better.” According to a report by Israel behind the News, the European Union determined that the Palestinian Authority squandered nearly 2 billion Euros between 2008 and 2012.

“The infrastructure is horrible,” the Palestinian refugee noted. “We have the same infrastructure from 40 years ago. There is an average of 50 students in the same class. When I was a student, we lacked basic things in school. We used to spend the winter without a heater and there was not even a fan in the summer. We barely had pens to write with. I came from a poor family. I had to starve for the entire day for there was no food at school for those without money. They teach English from the 1st to 9th grade but students finish barely being able to combine two sentences together. In my camp, there are no playgrounds. They didn’t teach art or music here. Some private schools encourage it but most of the schools ignore art and music but art and music is the space where you can express yourself and get rid of the negative face that is inside you.”

This Palestinian refugee stresses that corruption is rampant within Palestinian society and UNRWA plays a major role in this corruption: “Due to the amount of funds coming in, the conditions should have been better. I blame the corruption for this reality. According to the financial reports of UNRWA, these things should be available at these schools but they are not. I can understand not having the money but on the ground, we have the chance to have more due to the financial support UNRWA gets but because of the corruption, we are getting cheated.”

This Palestinian refugee claims that even though UNRWA was created in order to help Palestinian refugees, UNRWA hires foreigners and some of them earn wages that are high enough to support 20 local Palestinians: “An UNRWA employee can earn $10,000 per month. Others earn more. They have luxury cars and apartments. Some have villas for free. Meanwhile, local Palestinian teachers hired by UNRWA earn $700 to $800 per month. The people from abroad get 10 times more. The more the refugees suffer, these people live a more luxurious life. I blame them for me being a refugee.”

Meanwhile, this Palestinian refugee stresses that these horrendous living conditions combined with the UNRWA school curriculum are hindering the peace process: “The schoolbooks don’t encourage forgiveness and looking forward into the future. They remind you of the wars, of you being a victim, of you being killed and this incites the culture of revenge. This proves that the Palestinian Authority won’t be part of any solution to give us dignity and human rights. 24 years after Oslo is enough to tell the donors that there is a corrupt power controlling the Palestinian lives that is generating violence and frustration, thus making the conflict more complicated than what it is.”

Maybe UNRWA Spokesperson Chris Gunness would like to comment on the truth about UNRWA being exposed.

https://youtu.be/71H7nLPzpRs?t=29s

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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