by WorldTribune Staff, January 29, 2024
A dozen employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency, were part of the wave of Hamas terrorists who slaughtered more than 1,200 Israelis on Oct. 7 of last year, a report said.
The were 12 UNRWA employees with links to the attacks, including seven who were primary or secondary school teachers, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing intelligence reports.
The intelligence reports estimated that at least 10 percent of the refugee agency’s roughly 12,000 employees in Gaza have links to Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and about half have close relatives who belong to the Islamist terrorist groups.
The Trump Administration suspended U.S. funding for UNRWA in 2018, saying the agency’s mission was fundamentally misguided. The Biden Administration renewed funding to the agency in 2021.
Two of the UNRWA workers helped kidnap Israelis. Two others were tracked to sites where scores of Israeli civilians were massacred. Others coordinated logistics for the assault, including procuring weapons, the intelligence reports said.
“The information in the intelligence reports — based on what an official described as very sensitive signals intelligence as well as cellphone tracking data, interrogations of captured Hamas fighters and documents recovered from dead militants, among other things — were part of a briefing given by Israel to U.S. officials that led Washington and others to suspend aid to UNRWA,” the Journal’s report said.
“UNRWA’s problem is not just ‘a few bad apples’ involved in the October 7 massacre,” said a senior Israeli government official. “The institution as a whole is a haven for Hamas’s radical ideology.”
The report said 23 percent of UNRWA’s male employees had ties to Hamas, a higher percentage than the average of 15 percent for all adult males in Gaza.
UNRWA “has emerged as one of the loudest voices decrying the impact of the fierce fighting on Palestinians” in Gaza, the Journal’s report said. UNRWA says at least 152 of its own staff have been killed in the conflict.
A Journal editorial said a new U.N. Watch report, to be discussed in Congress on Jan. 30, shows “how a Telegram group of 3,000 UNRWA teachers in Gaza celebrated the October 7th Hamas massacre.” The message group’s administrators, identified by name and Unrwa contract number, praised Hamas’s “holy warriors” and prayed for them to murder Israelis: “O God, tear them apart,” “kill them one by one,” “leave none of them behind.”
The intelligence reports revealed details regarding the events of Oct. 7.
• An UNRWA math teacher belonging to Hamas took a picture of a female hostage in Gaza. Another teacher was carrying an antitank missile the night before the invasion.
• One UNRWA employee set up an operations room for Palestinian Islamic Jihad on Oct. 8, the day after the attack. Three other employees, including another Arabic teacher at an UNRWA school, received a text from Hamas to arm themselves at a staging area close to the border the night before the attack. It was unclear whether they went.
• A different elementary school teacher did cross into Israel and went to Reim, a district where a kibbutz, an army base and a music festival were attacked.
Teachers make up nearly three-quarters of UNRWA’s Gaza-based local staff. UNRWA schools, which use textbooks approved by the Palestinian Authority, have come under fire for using materials that allegedly glorify terrorists and promote hatred of Israel.
Since Oct. 7, Hamas has stolen more than $1 million worth of UNRWA supplies, including fuel and trucks, according to the intelligence reports.