Archive for the 'UNRWA' Category

UNRWA to legitimize Hamas front group today at UNHRC panel

filastin-gaza-21-3-2014 cartoon

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Above: Antisemitic image posted on Facebook by Majed Al-Zeer,
Chairman of the Hamas-linked Palestinian Return Centre,
which today us hosting an UNRWA official at its Geneva panel.
He deleted it after exposed by UN Watch.

GENEVA, September 17, 2015 – UN Watch urged UNRWA, the relief agency for Palestinians, not to legitimize a Hamas front group known as the “Palestinian Return Center”  (PRC) and to stop its Brussels-based representative Elena Mancusi-Materi from addressing a panel event organized today at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

“By legitimizing a known Hamas front group,  this incident only underscores the serious questions raised recently about UNRWA’s neutrality in light of its failure to discipline at least a dozen UNRWA officials who, as documented in our report, are spreading racial hatred and inciting to terrorism on the Internet,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the non-governmental Geneva-based monitoring group UN Watch.

“UNRWA received more than $600 million from the U.S., the UK, and the EU in 2014 alone,” said Neuer. “Where is the accountability?”

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh recently congratulated the PRC for managing to win UN status as a NGO, despite all the leading democracies on ECOSOC voting against them, including the U.S., UK, France, Germany, Australia, Italy and Austria.

The PRC and its leadership have extensive, documented ties with Hamas, which is designated as a terrorist organization by the European Union, Canada, Israel, Japan, and the United States, and, its armed wing is designated a terrorist organization by Australia and the United Kingdom. PRC leaders also celebrated the Hamas kidnapping of three Israeli teens, cheered Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, and threatened “punishment” for PLO President and Hamas rival Mahmoud Abbas.

Report: 12 UNRWA-linked Facebook Accounts Incite Antisemitism & Violence

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 2.12.08 PMGENEVA, September 1, 2015 – UN Watch released a new report today documenting 12 different Facebook accounts operated by UNRWA officials (see images below) that openly incite to antisemitism and terrorism, and urged UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UNRWA chief Pierre Krähenbühl to terminate the responsible officials, condemn the offending posts, and establish a commission of inquiry, comprised of representatives of top donor states (see chart at right), to investigate the culture of impunity for perpetrators of racism and incitement that pervades UNRWA.

“The pattern and practice of UNRWA school principals, teachers and staff members posting antisemitic and terror-inciting images suggests a pathology of racism and violence within UNRWA that must be rooted out, not buried, as UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness has attempted to do by calling for boycotts of newspapers or NGOs that report these incidents of hate,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a non-governmental Geneva watchdog organization.

“The UN must recognize that these disgusting posts, published on Facebook accounts run by people who identify themselves as UNRWA officials, constitute a gross violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which prohibits “incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence,” said Neuer.

“Enough of the UNRWA strategy of impunity, denial and deflection. It’s time for the perpetrators to be held to account. They must be fired — immediately.”

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UNRWA Officials Who Should be Fired For Posting Violent & Antisemitic Images

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1. AScreen Shot 2015-08-31 at 5.44.11 AMhmed Fathi Bader, identifying himself as a Deputy School Principal at UNRWA (screenshot), posted the photo above (screenshot) and praised the murder of “a group of collaborators with the Jews,” an incident strongly condemned by Amnesty International and other human rights groups, saying how much it “pleased” him.

“Shame them in this world, and a painful punishment in the afterlife.” His UNRWA affiliation is further documented here (and captured here).

Recommendation: UNRWA should fire Ahmed Fathi Bader for using the name of UNRWA on an account that promotes violence and terrorism.

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2. Mohammed Abu Staita, who identifies himself on Facebook as working for UNRWA (captured here), posted the cartoon above (screenshot) on November 8, 2014, depicting a hook-nosed, black-clad, ultra-Orthodox Jew, with long Chasidic earlocks and a black hat stamped with a Star of David, cowering behind a tree, as the tree alerts an excited, gun-wielding Palestinian to the Jew’s presence.

(The Islamic legend depicted above features in Article 7 of the Hamas CharScreen Shot 2015-08-31 at 5.25.00 AMter“The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews and kill them, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”)

Recommendation: UNRWA should fire Mohammed Abu Staita for using the name of UNRWA on an account that promotes violence and terrorism.

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Ramy Alshorbasi - Screenshot - Cartoon - Jews laughing milk

3. Ramy Alshorbasy, who identifies himself as a teacher at UNRWA (captured here), last month posted the above anti-Semitic photo (screenshot), in which a cabal of cackling ultra-Orthodox Jews, crudely stereotyped with claws and earlocks, laugh at the fate of Palestinian babies.

Recommendation: UNRWA should fire Ramy Alshorbasy for using the name of UNRWA on an account that promotes violent anti-Semitism and terrorism.

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4. Abed Abuashraf, on the same Facebook account where he identifies himself as an UNRWA official (screenshot), advocates peeling Israel off the world map, to be violently replaced by a Palestinian state, in the two images (captured here and here) that he posted below, on July 10 and 13, 2014.

Abed Abuashraf - Screenshot - Cartoon - Israel peeled back to reveal Palestine

Abed Abuashraf - Screenshot - Cartoon - Violent imagery

 

 

Recommendation: UNRWA should fire Abed Abuashraf for using the name of UNRWA on an account that promotes violence and terrorism.

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5. Wael Sallouh, who identifies himself as working for UNRWA on his Facebook page (screenshot), posted the photo below (also here) on June 16, 2014, to celebrate the kidnapping, four days’ prior, of three Israeli teenagers  by Hamas terrorists. The cartoon shows a Palestinian prisoner taunting a frightened and sniveling Israeli guard by holding up three fingers, the symbol used last year by Palestinians to celebrate the abduction of the Israeli boys, who were later found murdered.

Munnawar - Screenshot - Cartoon - Celebrating kidnapping and anti-Semitic imagery

 

Recommendation: UNRWA should fire Wael Sallouh for using the name of UNRWA on an account that promotes violence and terrorism.

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6. Mohammed A. Elhafi, who identifies himself on Facebook (screenshot) as an employee at UNRWA, posted this photo (below and here) condoning violence, on December 31 2011, in which the word “Fatah” is written so as to incorporate a rifle. The Arabic caption underneath includes an exhortation to violence: “long live revolution”.

Mohammed A. Elhafi - Screenshot - Cartoon - Violent imagery

Recommendation: UNRWA should fire Mohammed A. Elhafi for using the name of UNRWA on an account that promotes violence and breaches neutrality.

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7. Nasreen Hammoud, who on her Facebook page (screenshot) says that she works for UNRWA, uploaded this cartoon (captured here and below), to Facebook on August 2, 2014. Israel, characterized by a man wearing a bib emblazoned with a Star of David, is seen feasting on a helpless Palestinian child with the aid of a U.S. Star-Spangled fork, and drinking his blood. Concern about this post has already been documented elsewhere, yet it remains active.

Nisreen Hmood - Screenshot - Cartoon - Israel eating Palestinians

Recommendation: UNRWA should fire Nasreen Hammoud for using the name of UNRWA on an account that promotes anti-Semitism and breaches neutrality.

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8. Fala Sala, identifying himself on Facebook (screenshot) as a teacher at UNRWA schools, posted the image below on May 15, 2014, in which Israel and the Palestinian territories are depicted as one State of Palestine. (Image also visible here.)

Fala Sala - Screenshot - Cartoon - Israel as Palestine

Recommendation: UNRWA should fire Fala Sala for using the name of UNRWA on an account that breaches neutrality.

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9. Mohamad Essa, who identifies himself as an UNRWA employee on his Facebook page (screenshot), posted the cartoon below (also captured here) on November 18, 2014, glorifying a gruesome terrorist attack on a Jerusalem synagogue of the same day. Two Palestinian men entered the crowded synagogue of Kehilat Bnei Torah, killing four worshipers at the scene while a further victim, a Druze Israeli police officer, died of his wounds in hospital.

Mohamad Essa - Screenshot - Cartoon - Glorifying attack on Rabbis

Recommendation: UNRWA should fire Mohamed Essa for using the name of UNRWA on an account that promotes violence and anti-Semitism.

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10. Yousef Matar, a Human Resources Assistant at UNRWA according to his Facebook (screenshot), posted a photo (below and also here) on July 10, 2014, expressing support for an attack in which a rocket was launched towards Israel from Gaza. In another post, he uploaded a picture (screenshot) condoning violence, reminding Palestinians of their “duty” of “resistance”.

Yousef Matar - Screenshot - Photo of rocket shot from Gaza

Recommendation: UNRWA should fire Yousef Matar for using the name of UNRWA on an account that promotes violence and terrorism.

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11. Ahmed Dahdouh identifies himself on his Facebook page as an employee of UNRWA (screenshot). On April 24, 2012, he uploaded an image of a hooded figure hurling a rock (captured here), as shown below. The caption makes numerous mention of “revolution”.

Ahmed Dahdouh - Screenshot - Image - Glorifying violence

Recommendation: UNRWA should fire Ahmed Dahdouh for using the name of UNRWA on an account that promotes violence and breaches neutrality.

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UNRWA Institutional Pages

12. In the image below, the Facebook page of UNRWA Staff in Syria portrays Jews or Israelis as baby-killers, with a black figure marked by a Star of David shooting a baby in Gaza, under the headline “Stop Killing Babies.” UN Watch has captured the image here.

Though Chris Gunness’ strategy is to claim all such pages to be “impostors,” UNRWA has given tacit if not official approval: the page was founded in 2013, and is well-known with a following of 16,000 people; it lists the official UNRWA website of unrwa.org as its website; and an official UNRWA email address (s.mohyaldeen@unrwa.org, belonging to UNRWA official Samer Mohy Al Deen).

UNRWA staff in Syria - Screenshot - Cartoon and UNRWA link - Killing babies and milk

 

Recommendation: UNRWA should terminate all of the staff associated with the “UNRWA Staff in Syria” account, for incitement to hatred and breach of neutrality.

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UNRWA Spokesman Reacts to Evidence of Incitement to Antisemitism and Violence

 

UNRWA posts anti-Semitic cartoons inciting murder of Jews

Ban Ki-moon

Following is a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, with a copy to U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power and the ADL, sent today by the Geneva-based non-governmental organization UN Watch.

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His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon
The Secretary-General
The United Nations
New York, NY 10017

23 August 2015

Dear Mr. Secretary-General,

UN Watch is gravely concerned that the UN’s special relief agency for Palestinians, which received some $400 million from the U.S. last year in exchange for its signed promise to refrain from supporting terrorism and to uphold neutrality, is nevertheless disseminating crude, anti-Semitic caricatures on the Internet that incite to the murder of Jews. We respectfully demand that you take action immediately to remove the images, apply accountability to the highest levels of UNRWA, and apologize.

We call your attention to two of the ten first items appearing on the UNRWA Facebook page of the Rameh school, based in the Jaramaneh camp outside Damascus, which are cartoons celebrating Palestinian car attacks against Israeli Jewish civilians.

One of the cartoons posted by UNRWA resorts to classic anti-Semitic imagery, depicting a hook-nosed ultra-Orthodox Jew dressed in black, with a Star of David marked on his black hat:

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Continue reading ‘UNRWA posts anti-Semitic cartoons inciting murder of Jews’

Explosive: UN admits Palestinians fired rockets from UNRWA schools

 

RocketlauncherUNbldgQassam

The UN finally investigated the Palestinian storing of rockets in UNRWA schools and their use of the schools to launch rockets against Israel, all of which constitute grave violations of the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law.

Key findings gleaned from the UN report:

  • Hamas and/or Islamic Jihad stored rockets in UNRWA schools. The board found, in the case of the UNRWA Jabalia Elementary “C” and Ayyobiya Boys School, referring to the discovery of weapons there on 22 July 2014, that “it was highly likely that a Palestinian armed group might have used the premises to hide weapons.”
  • Hamas and/or Islamic Jihad stored rockets in schools that were in active use by children. During the war, former PLO lawyer Diana Buttu famously said on Al Jazeera that “the rockets that were found in the schools in UNRWA were schools that are not being used by anybody—school is out, I’ll have you know.” However, in the UNRWA Gaza Beach Elementary Co-educational “B” School, on 16 July 2014, the UN Board of Inquiry notes that the school gate was unlocked during the period leading up to the incident “in order to allow children access to the schoolyard.” School was out, but UNRWA was inviting the children back in to play.
  •  Hamas and/or Islamic Jihad fired rockets from UNRWA schools. In the Jabalia school listed above, the board found that “it was highly likely that an unidentified Palestinian armed group could have used the school premises to launch attacks on or around 14 July.” Similarly, concerning weaponry stored at the UNRWA Nuseirat Preparatory Co- educational “B” School, the UN inquiry found that “the premises could have been used for an unknown period of time by members of a Palestinian armed group”  — and that “it was likely that such a group may have fired the mortar from within the premises of the school.”

Extracts follow below.

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Extracts  from the UN report on rockets stored in and fired from UNRWA facilities

Incident (h): Presence of weaponry at the UNRWA Gaza Beach Elementary Co- educational “B” School on 16 July 2014

49. Gaza Beach Elementary Co-educational “B” School is located in the heart of the Beach refugee camp, in the midst of a densely populated area of Gaza city. Four other UNRWA schools and an UNRWA health centre are located on the opposite side of the street. The school buildings are enclosed by a wall and there is one main gate. On two of its four sides, the schoolyard is surrounded by houses, which are built on the school’s boundary wall. These houses have windows opening on to the schoolyard on their lower floors; and one house connects with the schoolyard through a gate. Also next to the school, adjacent to the house with the connecting gate, is a private building, whose main gate is located next to the school’s gate. This house was bombed during Operation Protective Edge, prior to the incident.

50. Due to the summer vacation, the school was not in use at the time of Operation Protective Edge, nor was it used as a designated emergency shelter.

51. The Board was informed that two UNRWA school attendants were looking arier the school prior to and on the day of the incident. One worked the morning shift and the other, the afternoon. Five guards hired as part of UNRWA’s Job Creation Programme (JCP) were also assigned to the school, one worldng the morning shift and the other four sharing the night shift in pairs of two. In addition, the school principal inspected all the classrooms on some days.

52. The Board was informed that one of the school attendants had testified that he had performed his normal duties prior to and on the day of the incident. The other had testified that, for safety reasons, he was told to stay away fi’om the school and to relocate to the health centre across the street and watch the school from there. Prior to and on the day of the incident, the JCP guards were also not at the school, but at the health centre, in accordance with the same instruction. The Board was informed that an UNRWA official had issued this instruction for fear that the building next door to the school would be shelled again.

53. The Board was informed that the school gate was unlocked during the period leading up to the incident in order to allow children access to the schoolyard. It was also informed that there were two sets of keys to the classrooms, one for the morning shift and the other for the afternoon. One set of keys was kept in the school principal’s office. It was unclear where the other set was kept.

54. A team of Operations Support Officers (OSO) had inspected the school on 2 June as part of a regular inspection programme for all UNRWA facilities, designed to prevent breaches of their “neutrality”. No weapons or signs of militant activity had been reported by the team during that inspection. No further inspections had been conducted by OSO teams after that date due to the declaration by UNRWA’s Gaza Field Office of a state of emergency on 8 July. The OSO teams had then ceased to operate and their members been assigned to other, emergency-related functions.

55. On 16 July 2015, a 120 MM mortar tube, a mortar bipod and twenty 120 MM mortar-round containers, with ammunition, were discovered under a blanket in the corner of a locked classroom. The weapom’y was photographed.

56. UNRWA senior management notified the local authorities in Gaza and asked that the weapons be removed. The United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) contacted the Special Protection Unit (SPU) of the local police and also asked that the weapons be removed, apparently through the local police’s explosive ordnance detachment. The SPU asked that the United Nations guarantee that the IDF would not strike while the weapons were being removed and that a United Nations vehicle be used to remove the weapons. DSS refused.

57. The Board was informed that UNRWA had received testimony that two individuals identifying themselves as policemen had come to the school, alleged that they knew who was responsible for the cache of weapons and left a telephone number. Upon being contacted, one of these individuals stated that the weapons would be removed fi’om the school in the early morning. The Board was further informed that, early in the morning of 17 July, the door to the classroom in question was found locked, with no signs of forced entry or exit, and that it was noted that the weapons had been removed.

58. On 17 July, UNRWA informed Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the finding of the weapons and their subsequent disappearance. In the afternoon of 17 July, UNRWA issued a press release stating that a cache of approximately 20 rockets (sic) had been found hidden in a vacant school. Under a misapprehension that the explosive ordnance detachment of the local police had removed the weapom’y, the press release stated that UNRWA had informed the relevant parties and had successfully taken all necessary measures for the removal of the objects in order to preserve the safety and security of the school.

59. The Board found that, in the light of the situation in the vicinity, the security measures at the school were weak prior to and on the day of the incident, partly due to the fact that the personnel charged with the school’s security were subject to life-threatening circumstances. It also found that an unidentified Palestinian armed group had used the school premises to hide the weaponry.

Incident (i): Presence of weaponry at the UNRWA Jabalia Elementary “C” and Ayyobiya Boys School on 22 July 2014

60. The Jabalia Elementary “C” and Ayyobiya Boys School is one in a row of five schools situated in an urban area to the east of the Jabalia refugee camp. Behind the school is a large open area with small-scale agricultural land. The Board was informed that this area was known for its use as a firing site for armed groups and that it had been targeted by the IDF in past conflicts.

61. The school was never identified in UNRWA’s emergency management plan as a potential shelter due to security and safety concerns. At the time of the incident, it was in recess for the summer.

62. The Board was informed that the school normally employed four school attendants, but that, at the time of the incident, ttu’ee of them were absent. One school attendant resided at the school, but was on leave at the time and, afraid, spent most of his time indoors. In addition, the Board was informed that five guards hired as part of UNRWA’s Job Creation Programme (JCP) had been assigned to the school and were scheduled to work there from evening to morning. However, at the time of the incident, none of them was at the school. The school has one main gate, which, the Board was informed, was not usually locked. The school wall is not high enough to prevent intruders from climbing into the school.

63. A team of Operations Support Officers (OSO) had inspected the school on 12 May as part of the regular inspection programme for all UNRWA facilities described above.

No issues had been identified that compromised the neutrality of the premises. No further inspections had been conducted by OSO teams after that date for the reasons outlined above.

64. However, following the discovery of weaponry at the Gaza Beach Elementary Co-educational “B” School on 16 July, UNRWA management issued an instruction on 17 July that daily inspections be conducted of all UNRWA schools, including those that were not being used as shelters, to ensure that no weapons were being stored in them and that they were not being abused. Two UNRWA staff members were then tasked to conduct daily inspections of all schools in the area concerned. School attendants present at the schools were instructed to ensure that the daily inspections were conducted. The Board was informed that the school had been inspected on 19 July and that nothing unusual had been found, though not every part of the premises had been checked.

65. The area behind the school wall was known at the time for being used by militants, including for the firing of projectiles. The Board accordingly noted the dangerous nature of the inspection of the premises and found that, although a thorough inspection of the premises should have been conducted, such inspection could only have taken place in the presence of qualified security personnel.

66. In the morning of 22 July 2014, a crowd of approximately 300 persons arrived at the school gate and entered the schoolyard. Heavy shelling was occurring at the time in the area of Beit Hanoun, near Jabalia, and the IDF had dropped leaflets over Beit Hanoun warning the civilian population to evacuate the area. This had created a mass movement of people seeking shelter.

67. UNRWA management was alerted to the arrival of the displaced persons and sent an official to the school to ascertain whether it could be opened as a designated emergency shelter. Upon arrival, the official was immediately alerted by the displaced persons to the presence of an object, seemingly a weapon. Other UNRWA officials then came to the school to inspect the premises. They saw an object, seemingly a weapon, covered with a piece of cloth, in an area under the cover of some trees behind the toilet block and near the boundary wall separating the school from the open area behind it. No one approached the object to confirm whether it was a weapon. No photographs of it were taken; and, for this reason, the Board was unable to confirm with certainty what type of weapon may have been hidden at the school. However, it concluded that it was highly likely that a Palestinian armed group might have used the premises to hide weapons.

68. The area was immediately evacuated and the UNRWA officials went to the neighbouring schools to determine whether any of them would be suitable to shelter the hundreds of displaced persons an’iving in the area. About an hour later, they returned to the school, to be informed by the displaced persons that the object had been removed. They then confirmed that the object was no longer at the rear of the school.

69. Following the finding of the object, UNRWA officials contacted the local authorities in Gaza, Israel’s Coordination and Liaison Administa’ation (CLA) and Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the evening of 22 July, UNRWA issued a press release stating that rockets (sic) had been found hidden in a vacant school in Gaza and that UNRWA was pursuing all possible measures for their removal in order to preserve the safety and security of the school. The Board was informed that, at the time, UNRWA senior officials understood that the suspected weapon or weapons were still at the school. The following morning, the Deputy Commissioner General informed Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the plan to remove the suspected weapon or weapons. Later that same day, having learned of their disappearance, she informed the Ministry of this. The Board found that communications within UNRWA may have been confusing at critical times during the management of the incident. However, it also noted the enormous pressure under which UNRWA staff were operating, often handling multiple complex and life-threatening situations.

70. The Government of Israel showed the Board a video, which the Board concluded was authentic, showing the launching of a projectile from within the school premises on 14 July. The Government also provided a document which was said to identify the places close to the school from which rockets had been launched, together with the dates of those launches. The Board concluded that it was highly likely that an unidentified Palestinian armed group could have used the school premises to launch attacks on or around 14 July.

Incident (j): Presence of weaponry at the UNRWA Nuseirat Preparatory Co- educational “B” School on 29 July 2014 and on 17 August 2014

71.  The UNRWA Nuseirat Preparatory Co-educational “B” School is located in a semi- rural area, northwest of the Nuseirat Camp, south of Gaza city. Two houses and a mosque are located less than one metre from the school wall and an apartment building, less than a hundred metres away. The school is enclosed by a wall. There is one main gate and a small pedestrian door adjacent to it and one secondary gate in a side wall.

72. The school was on recess at the time of the incident. It was not used as a designated emergency shelter.

73. The Board was informed that the main gate was locked during the recess, but not the adjacent pedestrian gate. The secondary gate was kept locked. Students would regularly climb up the front wall and enter the school. At the time of the incident, none of the classrooms were locked.

74. The school had only two attendants, who worked the morning shift on alternate days. One did not attend some days because of the security situation and the shelling. In addition, five guards hired as part of UNRWA’s Job Creation Programme (JCP) were assigned to the school, one on the afternoon shift and the others, in pairs of two, on the night shift. There was evidence that, on several occasions, the JCP guards were not present at the school when the school attendant an’ived in the morning, including the day of the incident.

75. A team of Operations Support Officers (OSO) had inspected the school on 19 May as part of the regular inspection programme for all UNRWA facilities described above. The team reported no weapons or signs of militant activity. No further inspections had been conducted by OSO teams after that date for the reasons set out above. As of the discovery of weapons at the Gaza Beach Elementary Co-educational “B” School on 16 July, the school attendants were instructed to inspect the school daily. However, the Board was informed that one of the attendants did not do so. The last inspection was carried out on 27 July. The day after was Eid al-Fitr and there was no school attendant at the school, though the JCP guards were present.

76. On 29 July, a 120 MM mortal” tube, a 120 MM mortar bipod and three 120 MM mortar containers were found, covered by a blanket, behind a locked internal gate leading to a stairwell. The weapons were photographed.

77. That same day, UNRWA officials informed the Israeli authorities and the local authorities in Gaza. In accordance with guidance provided by United Nations Headquarters, a mission was arranged for later that day to verify the weapons and render them safe. However, it was later called off because of the security situation in the vicinity of the school. In the evening, UNRWA issued a press release reporting that rockets (sic) had been found in an UNRWA school, that all parties had been informed and that United Nations munitions experts had been unable to access the school because of the security situation, but would do so once it improved.

78. On 30 July, UNRWA officials went to the school, ahead of a visit by United Nations munitions experts. They found no school attendants or JCP guards at the premises and that the lock of the gate to the stairwell had been broken and the weapons had disappeared.

79. The Board was informed that, between 30 July and 17 August, security at the school may have been compromised at least on one occasion by the presence of unidentified individuals and, possibly, of mortar weaponry.

80. On 17 August, a 120 MM mortar tube, a 120 MM mortar bipod and twenty 120 MM mortar containers were found in a small room under a stairwell. Water,

lubricant-oil bottles and boards apparently used as beds were also found, as well as writing in Arabic on a blackboard, seemingly depicting military operations. At the rear of the school, a mortar base plate was found, embedded in the sand. These items were photographed. The mortar cases, mortar tube, bipod and base plate were removed from the school and rendered safe.

81. The Board was informed that UNRWA officials contacted the Israeli authorities and explained that the weapons were in the possession of the United Nations and that they would not be handed over to any party. The Deputy Prime Minister of the Palestinian Govermnent of National Consensus was also informed.

82. The Board found that, in light of the security situation around the school at the time, the security measures at the school were weak, both prior to and on the days of the two incidents, partly due to the fact that the personnel charged with security at the school were subject to life-tba’eatening circumstances. The Board also found that the presence of weapons and other evidence found in the school indicated that the premises could have been used for an unknown period of time by members of a Palestinian armed group and that it was likely that such a group may have fired the mortar from within the premises of the school.

Continue reading ‘Explosive: UN admits Palestinians fired rockets from UNRWA schools’

Full Text: UN Board of Inquiry on Gaza

Ban Ki-moon

Summary of UN Board of Inquiry on Gaza- PDF

The President of the Security Council presents her compliments to the members of the Council and has the honour to transmit herewith, for their information, a copy of a letter dated 27 April 2015 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council, and its enclosure. Continue reading ‘Full Text: UN Board of Inquiry on Gaza’

Watchdog urges U.N. chief and Samantha Power to investigate UNRWA for breach of neutrality agreement

GENEVA, December 5 – A U.N. watchdog group is urging Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power to investigate UNRWA for breaching its recently-signed commitment to the U.S. on neutrality, after the billion-dollar relief agency’s top spokesman called for a boycott of Israel’s largest English-language newspaper.

In an emotional outburst on his official UNRWA Twitter account, Chris Gunness today published the following tweet: “Ultra-right @Jerusalem_Post carries anti-UNRWA garbage boycotting me ie no quote. Ask @stevelinde y Boycott the JPost! Don’t read their lies.” Continue reading ‘Watchdog urges U.N. chief and Samantha Power to investigate UNRWA for breach of neutrality agreement’




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