In the Telegraph, Paul Nuki explores the unholy alliance between the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the Palestinian group Hamas amid revelations that UNRWA employees have been involved in supporting or participating in terrorist activities. Here’s an excerpt:
You don’t need to look far for links between the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and Hamas.
On the day of the October 7th massacre, Sara A-Dirawi, an UNRWA teacher in Gaza, took to Facebook to publish a video clip of Hamas fighters shooting up Israeli cars. She added a verse from the Quran, suggesting the terrorists were on a mission from God: “For we will surely come to them with soldiers that they will be powerless to encounter, and we will surely expel them therefrom in humiliation, and they will be debased.”
This is not an isolated example. Ever since Hamas was elected to power in Gaza in 2006, the UN agency has been forced to work cheek by jowl with the terrorist group. As such, says Israel, a “mutual dependence” has grown up between them.
“The rule of the terrorist organisation over the Gaza Strip forces UNRWA to act under the authorisation and supervision of Hamas in a way that extends Hamas’s influence over the agency,” an Israeli official told the Telegraph.
This dynamic is evident in Hamas’s most senior appointments. For example, Suhail al-Hindi, who was elected to the Hamas Politburo in 2017 to sit alongside Yahya Sinwar, Hamas’s leader in Gaza and the author of the October 7th attack, was a headmaster at an UNRWA school and Chairman of the UNRWA Gaza Workers’ Union.
Hamas’s Economy Minister Jawad Abu Shamala, killed just three days after the October 7th massacre in an Israeli airstrike, had a similar pedigree. He “earmarked the funds for financing and directing terrorism inside and outside the Gaza Strip”, says the IDF, but previously worked as a teacher at an UNRWA school in Khan Yunis.
Political support is one thing, direct involvement in terrorism another.
Ten days ago, UNRWA’s leadership in Jordan announced that Israel had provided it with evidence that agency staff had been involved in the October 7th massacre.
According to a briefing given to the Telegraph by a senior Israeli official on Thursday, Israeli intelligence has established that at least 12 UNRWA employees are “associated with the infiltration attack”.
Of those, 10 were Hamas operatives and two belonged to Palestinian Islamic Jihad, said the official. A total of six UNRWA employees “infiltrated into Israel as part of the attack”, and four were “involved in kidnapping Israelis”, two of which also infiltrated Israeli territory.
Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: It took the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women nearly eight weeks to condemn the appalling rape and sexual assault carried out by the terrorists on October 7th, as Camilla Tominey reminds us in a scathing piece for the Telegraph.
Stop Press 2: In the Telegraph, MP Mike Freer’s recent resignation over death threats resonates with Stephen Pollard’s own experience, underscoring the economic and personal toll of Islamist intimidation.