Home > Gaza, Iran, Israel, Palestinian Authority, Quartet (for Mideast Peace), United Nations, West Bank > AJCongress criticizes UNRWA Commissioner-General for one-sided assessment of Gaza situation

AJCongress criticizes UNRWA Commissioner-General for one-sided assessment of Gaza situation

NEW YORK (Press Release)–Accusing him of departing from his role as a neutral civil servant of the international community, AJCongress today criticized UNRWA Commissioner-General Fillipo Grandi for his failure to acknowledge that Israel has legitimate security reasons to restrict the flow of goods and people in Gaza and the West Bank.

In an address to UNRWA’s Advisory Committee, Commissioner-General Grandi insisted that only a total lifting of Israel’s ban on “the free, two-way flow of people, commercial and humanitarian goods” into Gaza and between Gaza and the West Bank would suffice. Nowhere in Mr. Grandi’s lengthy remarks was there any acknowledgement that Israel had valid security concerns which would be undercut by such a policy.

In a letter to Mr. Grandi, AJCongress wrote: “In the course of criticizing Israel’s agreement to loosen its embargo on Gaza as insufficient, you call for ‘nothing short of the free, two-way flow of people, commercial and humanitarian goods’ and note that ‘nothing less will restore the trust [of Palestinians] in the international community.’ Not a word about Israel’s legitimate security concerns—which Quartet spokesman Tony Blair and many others continue to insist remain valid. Do you really believe that allowing Hamas fighters to cross from Gaza to the West Bank or Iran to arm Hamas and other violent factions in Gaza through open borders is a contribution to peace, let alone consistent with Israeli’s security concerns? United Nations officials ignoring Israel’s security concerns surely do nothing for Israel’s “trust in the international community.” (Click here to read full letter)

AJCongress asked the UNRWA head to “set the formal record straight,” acknowledging that Israel’s valid security concerns may result in restrictions on Palestinian civilians.

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Preceding provided by American Jewish Congress

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