Hillel Neuer on ILTV: Telegram group exposing UNRWA staff


UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer appeared on ILTV to discuss the UN’s response to the revelation that over 3,000 UNRWA staff celebrated the Hamas massacre on October 7th.


ILTV: The UN monitoring organization, UN Watch, last week revealed more than 3000 UNRWA staff and teachers were celebrating the October 7th massacre against Israel. What has been the UN’s response to this revelation and what exactly is UNRWA’s role in October 7th? Joining us now to discuss is the executive director of UN Watch, Hillel Neuer. Hillel, thanks so much for joining us.

Hillel Neuer: Thank you for having me. 

ILTV: So UN Watch first broke the revelation last week of the 3000 UNRWA employees who celebrated the October 7th massacre. What is the response that you’ve received from the United Nations over this report?

Hillel Neuer: Well, we’ve had a mixed, I would say, contradictory response. Initially, they said they were concerned. This is the spokesman of the UN Secretary General in New York, said that they were concerned about it, they would look into it.

A follow up question was asked a few days later. And he said, “well, you know, UN Watch, they have kind of a track record,” in which he was basically disparaging us. And then he said, but we will look into it. Well, is the UN looking into it? I don’t know.

And I’ll just mention UNRWA, their spokesman, Adnan Abu Hasna, was interviewed by Raviv Drucker on Channel 13 and he said, “we don’t know we don’t know if the members of this Telegram group work for UNRWA, they don’t work for UNRWA.” He said, “how can we find out,” he said “we want to investigate, but how can we find out you know, all these things are happening in Gaza, and there’s no way for us to find out.”

Well, guess what, you don’t need to be in Gaza, the Telegram group is online. Very quickly, within an hour or two, we were able to identify individuals, who they were, their UNRWA contract ID numbers. Numerous details of the people posting, including the fact that several of them, of the admins of the group, the leaders of this Telegram group, work for UNRWA.

They are people who, on the Telegram group, share internal UNRWA information. It’s a group of teachers who are sort of temporary, they maybe work from month to month. They don’t yet have fixed term contracts, but they undergo UNRWA training, they have UNRWA contracts. And on the Telegram group, they’re sharing of all kinds of internal, relevant UNRWA teacher information. And then they’re celebrating October 7th, saying that we need to have the same education that these Hamas individuals have for them, they were heroes, the same kind of education that they had, we need to replicate. This is really shocking.

ILTV: Now, you know, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres did issue a strongly worded statement condemning the October 7th attacks. The timing, though very strange, nearly 102 days after the fact. He’s remained mostly silent on Hamas’s crimes. Do you think his statement now has to do with what UN Watch has revealed?

Hillel Neuer: Look, there’s no way for us to conclusively attribute the motives for his statement, but the timing was noticed. Several people on social media noticed that we had called out the Secretary General for his failure to act and indeed their disparaging of our report, which is – no one has challenged any of the evidence.

There’s a Telegram group we’ve submitted, two days ago we started to publish a Twitter thread with thousands of UNRWA names that appeared on this group that were shared by them, with contract ID numbers from UNRWA. No one has challenged any of this, these details, this information. And so perhaps the Secretary General was feeling defensive. Perhaps that was a motivation for them to do this. But you know, when they, I would say, insulted us and questioned the credibility of the report, we put out an enormous amount of information, details of UNRWA teachers posting celebrations of terrorism.

Look, just yesterday, the British Home Secretary James Cleverly declared that Hizb ut-Tahrir is a terrorist group. And he said in part because they celebrated the October 7th attacks, therefore they are promoting and encouraging terrorism under British law. Under British law, we asked if thousands of UNRWA teachers are systematically celebrating the October 7th attacks, saying that we want our youth to be “breastfed the jihad,” and cheering the attacks, sharing photos and videos from the Hamas attackers on October 7th, is not UNRWA also becoming a group that is promoting and encouraging terrorism and therefore could UNRWA under British law be declared a terrorist group?

ILTV: An important question Hillel. Thank you for speaking with us today. 

Hillel Neuer: Thank you for having me. 

UN Watch