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Boston Globe Examines UNRWA's Role in Refugee Camps

Thumbs up to Boston Globe reporter Charles Radin for an informative and balanced story on the UN's work in Palestinian refugee camps  ("UN role in Palestinian camps criticized; Foes say extremism appeased" July 8, 2002). Radin examined the role of the UNRWA refugee camps in the indoctrination, recruiting and dispatching of  Palestinian suicide bombers.

According to the report, "The UN agency is the dominant social institution in the camps, providing almost all food aid, education, and health services. Israeli officials and the agency's critics say it is inconceivable that the camps have become centers of militant activities without the knowledge, and perhaps the consent, of the relief agency" in contravention of Security Council resolutions that "prohibit the use of refugee camps for military training and the manufacture and storage of weapons."

This story, which  ran on page A1 of the Boston Globe on July 8, 2002 provided a rare glimpse into the workings of the UNRWA agency and the perspective of many Israelis and Palestinians,  that its good work

does not excuse what they see as a go-along-to-get-along policy toward corrupt Palestinian politicians, a policy they say leads the agency to tolerate profiteering on food supplies that are supposed to be free, and to turning a blind eye to extremist elements.

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