GENEVA, June 2, 2017 – UN Watch today demanded that UNRWA chief Pierre Krahenbuhl apologize for using images of a girl in a bombed-out Syria building in a major global campaign to raise money for the organization by pretending the girl is a Gaza victim of Israeli actions.

UNRWA is now running the above photo on Facebook and Twitter ads. It is also now UNRWA’s cover image.

Imagine being cut off from the world – for your whole life. That’s reality for children like Aya. The blockade of Gaza began when she was a baby, the occupation in the West Bank before her parents were born. Now she is eleven, and the blockade goes on.

Aya’s childhood memories are of conflict and hardship, walls she cannot escape, and the fear that the only home she knows, however tiny, could be gone when she returns from school.

This Ramadan, please help support children like Aya who have known nothing but conflict and hardship. Donate here: http://buff.ly/2qgsP0Y#forPalestinerefugees

Yet neither the girl nor the bombed-out building are in Gaza; it’s an old photo from Syria, dating apparently to 2014.

Here is UNRWA tweeting the original image in a January 2015 story on Syria:

The photo also appeared on other UNRWA Syria pages, here, here, and here, an UNRWA report in which the caption reads:

A young girl stands in the rubble of Qabr Essit, near Damascus. In 2014, UNRWA was able begin rebuilding facilities within the neighbourhood, including a school and community centre © 2014 UNRWA Photo by Taghrid Mohammad

UN Watch wrote to Mr. Krahenbuhl two months ago about UNRWA teachers who incite racism and Jihadist terrorism, as documented here, but he has yet to respond.

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