UNRWA released a statement to several Arabic newspapers warning of a serious health crisis on the horizon in Gaza.
There is a severe shortage of vaccines in Gaza, and those for polio, the mumps, rubella, and meningitis have been completely depleted, while those for tetanus and whooping cough are dangerously low.
UNRWA warned that polio is starting to spread again in the Middle East because of the Syrian war.
As of this writing, this statement is not found at UNRWA’s website. Their Twitter account only links to an Al Jazeera Arabic version of the story – a story that implies that Israel is responsible for the shortage, as it reports this story together with the launch of a “Popular Committee Against the Siege on Gaza.” Even that is only mentioned in Arabic.
Why is UNRWA so reluctant to publicize this story of an impending heath catastrophe in English?
Perhaps their statement to Ma’an sheds some light.
In that statement, the UNRWA spokesperson Abu Hasna says that the responsibility of purchasing vaccines rests with the Gaza Ministry of Health and that UNRWA has warned them about this looming crisis for months.
Israel does not, and never has, restricted vaccines into Gaza. The Al Jazeera story, and the reporting of other Arabic media outlets, imply that this is part of the “siege” - but they are lying.
The looming health crisis is purely the result of Hamas either not caring about the health of people under its control, or a cynical purposeful creation of an epidemic by Hamas to make Israel look bad. That is not so far fetched, as Hamas has done exactly that by refusing imports of fuel to Gaza even when Israel was willing to provide it.
UNRWA, always eager to blame Israel for all problems, does not want to publicly say anything bad about Hamas. So instead of publicly shaming Hamas for refusing to allow life-saving vaccines to enter Gaza, UNRWA only discreetly planted stories about the issue in Arabic media and downplayed the reasons for the crisis, hoping that Hamas will take the hint without UNRWA having to go public to the West.
How much can UNRWA really care about the “refugees” when they are so reluctant to publicize how badly they are being treated by their Arab leaders?
Meanwhile, Israel has approved some 26 construction projects into Gaza, including 12 for UNRWA.
That isn’t on their website either, because this is another story that doesn’t fit UNRWA’s anti-Israel agenda – an agenda that clearly trumps its mission.
(Similarly, I have not yet found this story on any of the usual “pro-Palestinian” websites.)