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In preparation for the cancellation of UNRWA’s privileges in Israel

Today (Wednesday), the Knesset passed a preliminary proposal to exclude UNRWA from the Israeli law on legal privileges for UN institutions. The proposal was submitted by Knesset members from the coalition and the opposition (Ron Katz of Yesh Atid, Dan Iluz from the Likud, Yulia Malinowski from Yisrael Beiteinu), and passed by an overwhelming majority of 58 supporters against only 6 opponents. In the next stage, the law progresses to the Knesset committees, where it will be formulated meticulously and will pass audits, and later go on to the be passed as a law by three calls.

Today, Israeli law stipulates that UN organizations operating in Israel are entitled to certain privileges, including immunity from prosecution, exemption from income tax, exemption or discount in property taxes (very significant for UN institutions located in the major Israeli cities), archival immunity, etc. This is not a special Israeli law, but rather an accepted world standard with respect to the UN and its institutions.

However, UNRWA, a branch within the UN which is specifically designed to treat Palestinian refugees from the War of Independence (the only organization of its kind that still exists) has clearly deviated from the standard. For years, it has been clear that UNRWA is part of the problem and not part of the solution, and in its very functioning is constantly preserving the Palestinian refugee problem. In the educational institutions that are funded and organized by it, incitement and hatred against Israel have been found.

But the straw that broke the camel’s back for Israel came on October 7 – when it was proven that activists and members of the organization actively participated in the murderous attack on Israel. In addition, during the ground maneuver, weapons were discovered in UNRWA buildings, in addition to huge Hamas tunnels under the organization’s compounds, when it is not possible that the organization’s employees didn’t notice anything unusual in their surroundings. In light of these revelations, the law is now being passed in the Knesset, which will deprive UNRWA of privileges that it certainly does not deserve.

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