United Nations agency blasts Hamas after tunnel found under schools

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the comments on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) during a weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday. Haley visited an UNRWA school in the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem and tunnels dug by Hamas on Israel's burder with Gaza as part of her three-day trip to the nation.

"I regret that UNRWA, to a large degree, by its very existence, perpetuates - and does not solve - the Palestinian refugee problem".

A United Nations aid agency that helps Palestinians in Gaza condemned the territory's Hamas rulers on Friday after discovering a tunnel running under two of its schools for boys.

A Gaza-based spokesman for the UNRWA, Adnan Abu Hasna, said that Netanyahu was pursuing a "fantasy".

UNRWA spokesman Christopher Gunness responded that only the U.N. General Assembly could shut down the agency.

"The time has come to dismantle UNRWA and have its parts be integrated into the U.N. High Commission for Refugees", he said. It says it now aids 5 million registered Palestinian refugees in the Middle East.

Hamas has denied building the tunnel.

The UN Palestinian relief agency "perpetuates" the refugee issue instead of solving it and should be "dismantled", the Israeli PM stated, adding that he had conveyed the idea to the USA envoy to the UN. "Unfortunately, Hamas takes in NIS 100 million from residents of Gaza in taxes, electrcity and other utility bills, duty on imports and various other 'fees.' That money does not go to the PA, because Hamas prefers to use it to build terror tunnels and to pay the salaries of terrorists".

UNRWA said it had protested to Hamas that rules the enclave and which had used a network of cross-border tunnels to launch attacks inside Israel in a 2014 war.

"It is unacceptable that students and staff are placed at risk in such a way", Gunness said in a statement.

The statement also revealed that the tunnel has "no entry or exit points on the premises nor is it connected to the schools or other buildings in any way".

The Palestinian Hamas movement controlling the Gaza Strip Wednesday lambasted Saudi Arabia's condition to restore ties with Qatar adding that the current Qatar-Arab fallout will favor Israel, which will exploit the situation against the Palestinian people.



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