UNRWA announced that it is investigating 10 of its staffers after UN Watch exposed more than 100 teachers, school principals and other employees that praise Hitler, propagate hatred against Jews and support terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians on social media. Many Palestinian and Arab media outlets held UN Watch directly responsible for the potential consequences for UNWRA and those under investigation.
Al-Quds Al-Araby, “Israeli newspapers demand UNRWA fire its employees for allegedly inciting hatred against it,” Aug. 2, 2021:
Israeli media accused the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) of being lenient with Palestinian employees working with it, asking it to take punitive steps by dismissing them from their jobs, for claiming that they used social media to incite “hatred of Israel and anti-Semitism.”
The report, published by the Israeli newspapers, Yedioth Ahronoth and Maariv, stated that employees who receive their salaries from the United Nations “celebrate the death of Israelis and support terrorism,” as they put it.
They pointed out that the aforementioned claim is based on a report published by the “UN Watch” organization, which reveals more than 100 cases of UNRWA employees using social media to promote hatred of Israel, claiming that “UNRWA” consistently fails to support intolerance of the policy of racism.
Al Jazeera, “Israel demands the United Nations to dismiss UNRWA employees. Why?” Aug. 3, 2021:
Israel’s delegate to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, asked the Secretary-General of the international organization, Antonio Guterres, to dismiss a number of UNRWA employees, claiming that they are inciting terrorism and anti-Semitism.
This came in a letter sent by the Israeli delegate to the Secretary-General of the United Nations yesterday evening.
Erdan said that he based his message on a report published by an independent Geneva-based human rights organization called UN Watch that alleged that some UNRWA employees, through their social media accounts, violated the rules of the special UN agency and its stated values of zero tolerance for racism, discrimination or anti-Semitism.
Al-Quds Al-Araby, UN Watch attacks UNRWA, accusing 22 employees without evidence of promoting “violence,” Aug. 6, 2021:
Indicating the continuation of the political plans supported by Israel, to end the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees “UNRWA”, the “United Nations Watch” organization, accused of acting based on political motives, renewed its incitement attack, with accusations of UNRWA employees of promoting “violence and hatred.”
Khabar Palestinian Press Agency, “UNRWA clarifies the truth about the accusations of the United Nations Watch organization,” Aug. 5, 2021:
Today, UNRWA issued a statement regarding the accusation by the United Nations Watch organization of 22 UNRWA employees of promoting violence and hatred through social media channels.
In its statement, UNRWA said: “This week, a report was released by United Nations Watch — an organization with a long history of floating baseless and politically motivated allegations against the agency — accusing 22 UNRWA staff of promoting violence and hate by through social media channels.”
Wattan News Agency, “UNRWA refutes the allegations of an international organization about its employees, claiming that they promote violence and hatred,” Aug. 6, 2021:
Palestine Online, “Report accusing UNRWA employees of spreading hate… An attempt to write off the agency and the refugee issue,” Aug. 9, 2021:
The Director of the Authority (302) for the Defense of Refugee Rights, Ali Huwaidi, stated that this Zionist organization [UN Watch] is known for its historical hostility to “UNRWA” and continues to fabricate news and lies that would undermine and weaken the work of the UN agency and demand its end. Huweidi explained in a phone call to the newspaper “Palestine” that this organization always monitors the work of UNRWA employees, and tries to seize any word that contradicts the agency’s vision, from its point of view, to submit reports against them to the UN institution.
Huweidi indicated that the Zionist organization is keen to target “UNRWA” and always reports to donor countries, with the aim of not contributing to the budget of the UN agency. He cautioned that these reports cause some employees to panic, which reflects negatively on them while performing their duties, calling for confronting this organization by preparing a report from the Agency that refutes these lies, and submitting it to the Secretary-General.
Al Jazeera, “For political reasons, UNRWA responds to the pressures of a Zionist organization and suspends its employees from work”, by Raed Musa, August 25, 2021
UNRWA media advisor, Adnan Abu Hasna, told Al Jazeera that the UN agency had already suspended a small number of employees, with its commitment to pay their monthly salaries until the investigation into allegations against them of violating the principles, laws and regulations of neutrality, incitement to violence and inciting hatred is completed.
According to Abu Hasna, these employees were suspended from work to investigate the allegations attributed to them of violating neutrality and violating the values of the United Nations that rejects violence and hatred.
Abu Hasna explained that the employee against whom these allegations are proven will be subject to graduated penalties according to the case, such as warning, dismissal or other administrative procedures.
Al Araby, “UNRWA employees referred for investigation due to a complaint from an organization supporting Israel,” Aug. 29, 2021:
A number of UNRWA employees are facing the possibility of dismissal from their jobs, following a complaint filed by an organization supporting the Israeli occupation called “UN WATCH” against them under the pretext of incitement against Israel and abandoning neutrality.
Safa Palestinian Press Agency, “Commission 302: UNRWA’s suspension of a number of its employees is in violation of human rights standards,” August 31, 2021:
The “302 Committee for Defending Refugee Rights” confirmed that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) suspended a number of its employees on the grounds of freedom of opinion and expression, and on the grounds of “violating the principles, laws and regulations of neutrality” in violation of human rights standards and freedom of opinion and expression.
The commission indicated that the second event came after the Israeli UN Watch published 22 names of UNRWA employees on 4/8/2021 claiming that their posts on social media were “anti-Semitic and incitement to terrorism.”
Al Akbar, “Employees under threat: disengage from Palestine or be removed,” Sept. 24, 2021:
As if the UNRWA employees in Gaza did not lack anything but that Israel’s representative to the United Nations, Gilad Aran, hammered a new nail in the coffin of their job security, accusing them of inciting hatred and anti-Semitism, and even submitting a list of the names of a number of them, and demanding their permanent dismissal from work.
Returning to the Israeli complaint at the United Nations, which was based on a report submitted by the United Nations Watch organization, in which it claimed that some employees violated the general policies of UNRWA, especially those related to spreading hatred and anti-Semitism, explains Ali Huwaidi, director of the 302 Defense Authority.