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Thursday, February 18, 2010

UNRWA soccer tounament named after terrorist

From Palestinian Media Watch (h/t Bubbe):
An UNRWA educational program in Ramallah has honored the terrorist Abu Jihad with a football tournament in his name. The tournament was organized by the Fatah Students' Youth Movement at UNRWA's Women's Training Center and Faculty of Educational Sciences in Ramallah:

"The Student Union Council and the Shabiba [Fatah] Students' Movement at UNRWA's Faculty of Educational Sciences has launched a football tournament under the name, 'The Shahid (Martyr) Abu Jihad Tournament.'"

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 17, 2010]
Dedicating sports tournaments and summer camps for Palestinian youth to terrorists who have killed Israelis is Palestinian Authority policy. Palestinian Media Watch has regularly documented the PA's glorification of terrorists.

The fact that UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees) is hosting a tournament honoring a terrorist is not the first time that the UN has supported the PA's policy of honoring terrorists. In the past, the UN has supported summer camps named after terrorists, including a UNICEF-sponsored camp in 2003 named after "the Shahida (Martyr) Wafa Idris." For examples of camps named after terrorists, click here.

Abu Jihad was one of the founders of the Fatah Movement and the orchestrator of the organization's terror activities from the mid-1960s. Second in command to Yasser Arafat, he headed the military wing of the PLO and served as deputy supreme military commander of Fatah. Abu Jihad planned many of the major Fatah terror attacks, including the worst terror attack in Israel's history, in which 37 civilians were murdered in a bus hijacking led by Dalal Mughrabi in 1978. He also planned the hostage taking at the Savoy Hotel in Tel Aviv in 1975 in which eight hostages and two Israeli soldiers were killed. Abu Jihad was killed in 1988 in an operation attributed to Israel.
According to the UNRWA website:
..[T]he Commissioner-General has on numerous occasions reminded UNRWA’s area and international staff of their obligations of impartiality as UN employees and officials. In numerous letters to all staff he has recalled that “staff of the Agency are required to conduct themselves in accordance with established principles and practices of the United Nations and must not engage in any activity which is incompatible with their status as independent and impartial civil servants”. He also stated that “whilst UNRWA staff members, like other United Nations officials, are entitled to their political views, such views must not be allowed to come into conflict with the duty of the individual staff member to give loyal service uninfluenced by external political pressures”.

In addition, since the start of the current strife the Agency has employed a group of International Staff as Operational Support Officers one of whom’s main tasks is to ensure the integrity of UNRWA property and installations in the OPT. The Agency enforces all the rules mentioned above in a stringent manner and has initiated disciplinary measures against its staff where necessary. For example, the Agency once disciplined a staff member for attending a political rally in contravention of Staff Rules and Regulations. On another occasion, a staff member was disciplined for having circulated an email with inappropriate political connotations.
So it must not be against UNRWA policy to host events that glorify terrorists. Good to know!