Concerned, perhaps, that former Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon is no longer around to make anti-UNRWA videos, Hamas has stepped up to the challenge and made its own. Issam Adwan, head of the Refugee Affairs Department of the (Hamas-controlled) Palestinian government in Gaza posted one last month, warning against perils posed by trips that UNRWA has organized for Gaza school children to the US and Europe. As al-Monitor reports:
“The UNRWA yields to the demands of Western countries. It does not have our best interest at heart. Therefore, we ought to cautiously deal with its projects,” he said.
In the video, titled “UNRWA’s suspicious trips,” Adwan said that the movement has objected to the trips organized for adolescent students for five “psychological” reasons. According to the Islamic movement, “Students will be dazzled by these new places and would dream of returning there to enjoy themselves again. They would lose their sense of nationalism and become detached from their social values. They would feel a sense of defeatism and inferiority and would have difficulty adapting to reality and reintegrating into their society.”
As the al-Monitor report notes, the move comes amid recent UNRWA-Hamas tensions over changes in UN welfare programmes, as well as UNRWA’s decision to cancel its planned Gaza marathon after the Islamist movement refused to allow women to participate.