Canadian Coalition for Democracies
Ottawa, Canada – As the Lebanese government attempts to bring Palestinian terrorist and their foreign allies based in UN refugee camps under control, serious questions must be asked about the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) and its role in supporting and sustaining these armed gangs and their expensive infrastructures. For its part, the Canadian Government must investigate the way its own money and support for UNRWA have been misused to fuel extremism in the region.
“Canada is one of the most active financial supporters of UNRWA. Since 2000, the Canadian International Development Agency has provided over $75 million to support the UN agency, ignoring serious concerns about terrorism and terrorist incitement in the camps, ” said Naresh Raghubeer, Executive Director, Canadian Coalition for Democracies (CCD). “Now that Palestinian terrorists are again undermining Lebanon, as they have been doing with Israel, will Canada finally end its blind support for UNRWA?”
UNRWA has 2,629 staff members in Lebanon who operate 12 refugee camps, including Nahr el-Bared where the current violence is taking place. Since the outbreak of fighting between the Lebanese army and Palestinian gangs on Sunday, over 79 have been killed, making it Lebanon’s worst violence since the 1975-1990 civil war.
“UNRWAâ€™s camps have been used for generations to indoctrinate hatred. UNRWA employs Palestinian terrorists from Fatah and Hamas, yet Canada, under both Liberal and now Conservative governments, has been silent,” said Raghubeer.
CCD calls on the Harper government to impose an immediate moratorium on funding to UNRWA until an independent, Canadian-led forensic audit is completed and controls are implemented to assure Canadian taxpayers that (1) armed gangs are no longer operating within the camps, (2) members of terrorist groups are not receiving Canadian aid or employment, and (3) incitement to violence and teaching of hatred have ended.
“Prime Minister Harper has spoken both about the threat posed by terrorism and the need for accountability in spending taxpayersâ€™ money, and has pledged to make these principles part of his 2007 budget,” said Raghubeer. “If the Prime Minister is serious, CIDA’s unconditional funding of UNRWA would be an excellent place to act on these commitments.”