Hillel Neuer on ABC News: UN Workers accused of helping Hamas


Hillel Neuer appeared on ABC News with Linsey Davis to discuss the U.N. workers accused of helping Hamas in the October 7th attacks on Israel, and new evidence that he will be presenting before U.S. Congress on January 30th.

ABC News: New details tonight of Israel’s accusations that UN workers took part in the October 7th terrorist attack. Multiple sources confirmed to ABC News, Israel sent a dossier to foreign capitals alleging at least 12 workers for the UN’s largest aid agency in Gaza, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, participated in Hamas’ rampage. The five-page intelligence report accuses some of the UN workers of kidnapping, while placing others at the scene of massacres and at least one move weapons for Hamas. The UN has not denied the claims, but they say that they have fired those employees. Joining us now to discuss this is the executive director of UN Watch, Hillel Neuer. Hillel, thank you so much for joining us. UN Watch is a nonprofit organization dedicated to holding the United Nations accountable to its founding principles. Are you at all surprised by these findings?


Hillel Neuer: Sadly, I’m not. For nearly 10 years, we have documented promotion of jihadi terrorism, hatred, and antisemitism among teachers, school principals, and other employees of this agency, UNRWA, the UN agency that’s supposed to take care of social services for Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, and other places. And we have submitted it to the agency’s representatives, submitted it to the United Nations. And for 10 years, Linsey, they attacked us.


ABC News: If they really are guilty of these accusations here, why would they simply be fired? Why wouldn’t there be further action taken on them?


Hillel Neuer: Well look, we’re getting conflicting approaches. On the one hand, the UNRWA leaders and the UN Secretary General say it’s allegations, but they fired them. So which they didn’t do in the past when we brought complaints about incitement of hatred and other crimes. So it seems that it’s damage control. Look, more than a dozen countries, the leading supporters of this agency who are their biggest defenders, the United States on Thursday said, it’s a trusted partner, UNRWA, and they’re going to have a central role in postwar Gaza. The United States was the first to freeze funding. Canada, Germany, France, Sweden, countries that have never ever defunded this agency, they’ve announced a temporary freeze. Our concern is that this will be reinstated quickly, they want to make this go away.


ABC News: I want to drill down on a point that you just made because you do have 10 countries who have suspended funding for the agency which provides aid to 1.7 million Gazans, many caught up in the intense fighting near Khan Younis. How can people be held accountable while at the same time making sure that those in need aren’t used as collateral damage? 


Hillel Neuer: The fact is that UNRWA is unable and unwilling to hold its own people accountable. We’ve seen that over the years, they at times will just do a slap on the wrist, we cannot trust UNRWA to hold anyone accountable on this issue. They don’t even have the powers of criminal prosecution. They said they’d be prosecuted. Who’s going to prosecute them? In Gaza, the authority is Hamas. So they’re going to hand them over to Israel? UNRWA would never do that. There are other UN agencies that can do it. UNRWA is infiltrated with Hamas and it is just a failure. It needs to be abolished, they cannot be trusted to do it.


ABC News: And we know that you’re headed to Congress tomorrow to present new evidence of what you call the poison of hate that has infected thousands within UNRWA. What are you hoping comes out of that meeting?


Hillel Neuer: Look, we’re going to present new evidence of a telegram chat group with 3000 UNRWA teachers, called the UNRWA Telegram teachers chat group. And in it, we found technical information about work schedules and salary payments for UNRWA teachers in Gaza, mixed with cheering and celebrations of the massacre of October 7th, as it happened, and afterwards. One UNRWA teacher said, “who taught these Shahids, these holy martyrs, to do this incredible stuff? Where did they get their incredible education? We need to replicate it.” The fact is that, you know, AOC, and other politicians are saying it’s just a few bad apples. You know, it’s not the whole agency. It’s not a few bad apples, the poison goes right to the core. 


ABC News: And so what’s the solution? 


Hillel Neur: Well, we need to abolish UNRWA. It’s a failure. Other UN agencies can do it. Bear in mind that UNRWA, by the way it’s our taxes, the US gave over $300 million last year. Palestinians are very capable people. We saw what they did with building the tunnels. Sadly, they use their resources for war, they need to use their resources for peace. The international community cannot rely on UNRWA. There are other alternatives that can do the job.


ABC News: Executive Director of UN Watch Hillel Neuer, we thank you so much for your time. Appreciate it.


Hillel Neuer: Thank you.


ABC News: ABC News has reached out to the UN for a reaction to UN Watch’s claims that they had warned the organization for nearly 10 years flagging that there were problems within the UNRWA organization. We have yet to hear back.

UN Watch