When dealing with UNRWA we need to remember that some employees of this UN agency are in fact war criminals. They assisted terrorists in targeting israeli civilians and they should be prosecuted. This is not only Israel´s interest, it is also the UN´s interest as UNRWA’s conduct severely undermines the neutrality and credibility of the United Nations and endangers its future work.
UNRWA’s conduct in Gaza also violates the principles and spirit of UN Security Council Resolutions 1373 Article 2 (from September 2001, accepted shortly after the horrendous September 11th attacks), that says: all States shall: “(A) Refrain from providing any form of support, active or passive, to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts, including by suppressing recruitment of members of terrorist groups and eliminating the supply of weapons to terrorists… (C) Deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts, or provide safe havens”
This refers to states and surely to UN agencies funded by the same states who supported this resolution.
Of course it is not so simple as UN employees enjoys legal immunity. So in fact we cannot prosecute them right now.
According to Article II Section 2 of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations (1946): “The United Nations, its property and assets wherever located and by whomever held, shall enjoy immunity from every form of legal process”
Israel could demand from the UN Secretary General that he exercises his authority to waive the immunity. or that he provides appropriate alternative modes by which to rectify the harm caused by UNRWA: compensate the families and civilians that were hurt by missiles fired at them.
Israel could claim that the secretary general must waive their immunity Since the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations (Article V Section 20) also states:
“Privileges and immunities are granted to officials in the interest of the United Nations… The Secretary General shall have the right and the duty to waive the immunity of any official in any case where, in his opinion, the immunity would impede the course of justice and can be waived without prejudice to the interests of the United Nations.”
Giving safe haven to terrorists, if I may say so myself, impedes the course of justice.
Israel could claim they don´t enjoy immunity at all as under Article 105(2) of the UN Charter, UN officials possess “such privileges and immunity as are necessary for the independent exercise of their function in connection with the Organization.” In other words, this immunity is granted to them while they´re doing their job and not while they´re doing something else.
Some might believe that the role of UNRWA is to assist Hamas fight Israel and shoot missiles at civilians, but infact UNRWA’s mandate as defined by UN General Assembly Resolution 302 (from december 1949): states that it is “to prevent conditions of starvation and distress among Palestine refugees and to further conditions of peace and stability…”.
UNRWA employees enjoy immunity only while doing their job according to the mandate granted to them by the UN general assembly. We need to ask: Does this mandate include brainwashing children about the right of return? Does it include teaching boys and girls that Israel has no right to exist? Does it include demonizing Israel in specific and Jews in general? It certainly doesn´t include handing over weapons to Hamas and targeting israeli civilians.
These criminals should be prosecuted.