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World Jewish Congress: "U.N.R.W.A.'s Camps Help Terrorism"

Today, the WJC welcomed growing bipartisan Congressional support for hearings on how to prevent militant and extremist groups from using UN-administered refugee camps in the Middle East as training centers and breeding grounds for terrorists.

The growing Congressional interest in reforming the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) was bolstered this week when the Israel Foreign Ministry's legal advisor, Alan Baker, made a trip to Washington calling on the State Department and members of Congress to closely examine how UNRWA's $400 million annual budget is spent.

"We want the UN to investigate how it is possible that no one told the organization that the camps had become bases for terrorists," said Baker sharing suspicions held by Representative Tom Lantos, who wrote to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan last month accusing UNRWA of being complicit in terrorism.

"Terrorists based in UNRWA camps have engaged in a systematic and deliberate campaign of terror," said Lantos, the ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Committee. The committee is currently engaged in an effort to conduct hearings on UNRWA's activities in Israel and the question of American funding for the agency.

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