I wondered if UNRWA was bothered at all that all these valuable building materials that are supposedly banned from Gaza are being used for terror rallies rather than, say, building houses.
Israel Awareness emailed UNRWA's Chris Gunness with that question:
Will UNRWA mention this – that Hamas has enough building materials to build plenty of homes, but refuses to use them? Will you urge Hamas to use it for the greater good?
Or will you condemn Israel for not allowing enough building materials into Gaza?
Gunness' answer, in part:
There’s no doubt that right now we all need to redouble our efforts to ease the suffering of the ordinary people of Gaza and to think again about the blockade policy.From what I can tell, Gunness is saying that while Hamas is the de facto government in Gaza, they are not responsible for the well-being of their citizens. Only UNRWA builds houses, leaving Hamas without that responsibility.
I would imagine that the stage is built with materials which came in to Gaza through the tunnels. Because of the blockade policy the tunnels trade from which Hamas takes a fifteen per cent tax is booming. The Israeli blockade policy has empowered Hamas. Another reason you might think to lift the blockade.
I agree that we need to build houses for people who are homeless from the war and since their homes were bulldozed by the Israeli authorities ten years ago in the south. To do that, the UN needs to bring in thousands of trucks from Israel and to do that, the blockade needs to be lifted.
So, UNRWA's position is that Hamas is perfectly entitled to use building materials that could be used to build houses for people that have been homeless for ten years (way before the Gaza closure, by the way) for whatever it wants - terror rallies, weapons bunkers, tunnels to kidnap Israelis, whatever. Hamas has no fear that UNRWA will say anything remotely critical of it, and it equally has no fear that it will ever have to actually take responsibility for its people the way every other government in the world is expected to (besides the PA.)
No, Chris Gunness' condemnations are never aimed at Hamas, but rather concentrated on one entity in the Middle East, and one only.