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UNRWA Gaza head says group employs Hamas members


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Oct. 4, 2004 13:14 | Updated Oct. 4, 2004 14:52

UNRWA Gaza head says group employs Hamas members


The head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) confirmed in a television interview that his group employs Hamas members in Gaza.

"I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll and I don't see that as a crime," UNRWA head Peter Hansen told Canada's CBC television Sunday.

Hamas has been declared a terror organization by the US and Canada, as well as the European Union.

"Hamas as a political organization does not mean that every member is a militant and we do not do political vetting and exclude people from one persuasion as against another," he said.

In the interview, Hansen added that "whatever their political persuasion is" members of his staff are required to "behave in accordance with UN standards and norms for neutrality."

According to the interview, Canada donates $10 million to UNWRA a year.

Israel has long accused UNRWA and its Gaza chief of bias in favor of the Palestinians.

Hansen's remarks add further fuel to accusations made by Israel based on footage released by the IDF showing terrorists placing a Kassam rocket inside a UN vehicle.

Earlier this week, the army released video footage taken by an unmanned aircraft flying over the Jabalya refugee camp which Israel says shows terrorists loading a Kassam rocket into a UN vehicle.

Declaring that it would be impossible to fling a rocket single handedly into the vehicle, Hansen said he supported the ambulance driver who said the footage shows him placing a stretcher inside the ambulance.

A security official told The Jerusalem Post that there are no doubts that a Kassam rocket was placed in the vehicle and said it was unfortunate that the comments made by Hansen didn't question the authenticity of the vehicle. "If there are any doubts they relate to the vehicle and whether it was indeed an authentic UN vehicle or whether the terrorists disguised a vehicle in order to evade being spotted by the army," the official said.

The recent incident is only one of a number of claims made by Israel in the past four years suggesting that terrorists take advantage of the UNWRA facilities and vehicles knowing they will not be subject to security checks and permitted unrestricted movement.

In April 2003, The Jerusalem Post obtained a document drawn up by the defense establishment claiming that terrorist organizations operating in Palestinian Authority controlled areas took advantage of UNWRA workers and their vehicles to transport terrorists and arms.

At that time, Peter Hansen vehemently denied the claims; however, the document noted that Palestinian terrorists arrested by Israeli security forces admitted to using UNWRA equipment, facilities and vehicles.

The defense report focused on UNWRA employee Nahed Rashid Ahmed Atallah, a resident of the Jabalya refugee camp, who was arrested in August 2002 as he returned to Gaza from Egypt.

The report claimed that Atallah, who worked in 1987 as the director of food supplies for refugees in the Gaza Strip, was provided with a UN vehicle and UN laissez-passer entitling him to unrestricted travel in the area.

Atallah later admitted to investigators that he used his vehicle to transport terrorists and arms. He also made use of his pass to travel to Egypt, Lebanon and Syria where he contacted members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and received funds and transported arms.

Atallah was charged on eight counts of aiding terror, including conspiring to trade in arms, assisting in attempted premeditated murder, and possessing illegal arms. Hansen, at the time, denied the claims.

A secret Shin Bet report also documented the use of UNWRA facilities to harbor terrorists and aid in terror activities. According to the report released in December 2002, a number of Palestinians who were arrested by the security forces admitted to using UNWRA facilities and vehicles to plot and carry out attacks.

One of the examples stated in the report pertained to Mohammed Ali Hassan, who was arrested in February 2002 and admitted to using a local UNWRA facility in Nablus for target practice and storing weapons.

The same report claimed that an UNWRA club located in the Jabalya refugee camp and another club in the El-Aroub refugee camp near Hebron were used as meeting points for Fatah-Tanzim activists.

The Shin Bet report also claimed that Nidal Nazal, an UNWRA ambulance driver arrested in July 2002, admitted to using his ambulance to transport ammunition to different terror cells. Other detainees who admitted using UNWRA vehicles to transport terrorists en route to perpetrate attacks were also detailed in the report.

At the time, the findings prompted the army to issue a directive restricting movement of UN vehicles in the West Bank and Gaza and instructing soldiers to allow such vehicles to pass only on the condition that at least two or three authorized UN or UNWRA personnel were traveling inside.


So much for UN's objectivity... disgust.gif

Maybe it's time to resign the UN huh.gif

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i wonder how many people realise that Libya headed the UN Human Rights commission last year:)

the UN is currupt

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All this says is the UNWRA, which is based in Jordan, has let itself get corupted by the anti-Israel nation its based and the anti-Israel local populations who it hires (I mean, its hires like 8,300 in Gaza alone, of course they'll be terrorists among them).

All this proves is that its tasks are better carried out by international staff only who do not spend any length of time on the ground and as few locals as possible; that civilised nations are the only ones who can be trusted with such matters; and its leadership should be tortured for info and then executed.

It also proves multiculturalism sucks.

But it doesn't prove that the UN, which is funded by the US, Israel's biggest ally, is out out get them.

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the UN is corrupt


And the award for the understatement of the century goes to...

Bathory thumbsup.gif

I think it is time to overhaul the UN and get a system in place that is powerful and not nearly as corrupt as the UN has become.

Not that Resolutions don't have their place; but that is all the UN is good for...

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