Headline RoundupApril 23rd, 2024

Independent Review of UNRWA Claims Israel Hasn't Provided Evidence of Terror Links

Summary from the AllSides News Team

An independent review commissioned by the United Nations said Israel hasn't provided evidence for its claim that a significant share of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) staff are connected to terror organizations.

The Details: The report examined the “neutrality” of UNRWA, and found that while it has a “robust framework” for ensuring neutrality, “neutrality-related issues” such as “staff publicly expressing political views” and “politicized staff unions making threats against UNRWA management” persist.

For Context: Israel’s accusations caused several Western nations to pause funding to the UNRWA, although some have since resumed funding. In February, Israeli forces discovered a Hamas compound beneath the UNRWA headquarters in Gaza.

Confusing ‘Neutrality’ Coverage: Most outlets focused on the UNRWA’s claim that Israel has not provided supporting evidence. Some also framed coverage around neutrality, often in conflicting fashions. For instance, Deutsche Welle (Center bias) wrote that the report “called… for ‘immediate improvement’ to maintain neutrality,” and the Washington Post (Lean Left bias) wrote that “the agency must implement more robust vetting of staff members to ensure neutrality.” But Politico (Lean Left bias) only mentioned “neutrality” once, writing that the “UNRWA has established ‘a significant number of policies, mechanisms and procedures’ to… ensure neutrality.”

Minimal Coverage from the Right: AllSides did not find original coverage from any sources on the right. Washington Times (Lean Right bias), Breitbart (Right bias), and Newsmax (Lean Right bias) republished wires from the Associated Press (Lean Left bias) or AFP.

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