UNRWA Attacks Those Who Warn Of Staff Support For Terrorism

When UN Watch sent warnings and reports about UNRWA staff support for terrorism, the UN and UNRWA consistently resorted to attacking and disparaging UN Watch instead of addressing the issue. Examples are below.


Date UN / UNRWA Official Attack on UN Watch
August 25, 2015 UNRWA Spokesperson Chris Gunness “UN Watch makes a fool of itself … Credibility dead in water. Will anyone believe them again”
August 26, 2015 UNRWA Spokesperson Chris Gunness “Appeal 2 journalists: please don’t turn @UNWatch baseless allegation about anti-semitism into a “he said she said” story. It is a non story”
February 4, 2017 UNRWA Spokesperson Chris Gunness “UNRWA is dismayed by the article published on 3 February 2017 in Bild [based on UN Watch’s report], and the apparent attempt to undermine – on false premises – efforts to preserve the dignity of 5.3 million people in deep distress in a highly unstable region.”
June 30, 2021 UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini Reports documenting UNRWA staff incitement to violence or antisemitism constitute “irrational allegations” and “political attacks that seek to undermine [UNRWA’s] legitimacy as a way to erode the rights of Palestine refugees”—from which UNRWA should be “shielded” by donor states.
August 5, 2021 Official UNRWA Statement “This week, UN Watch — an organization with a deep history of unfounded and politically-driven assertions against the Agency — released a report accusing 22 UNRWA personnel of promoting violence and hate through social media channels.”
September 17, 2021 UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini “Since 2018, UNRWA has faced growing attacks from politically motivated pressure groups on its education programme aiming at delegitimizing the Agency and erode the rights of Palestine refugees.”
June 24, 2022 Official UNRWA Statement “Yesterday, as the world gathered at UN Headquarters in support of the humanitarian and human development mission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) on behalf of Palestine refugees, a well-known politically motivated organization once again deliberately attempted to delegitimize the work of the Agency.”
June 28, 2022 UNRWA Deputy Commissioner-General Leni Stenseth “The actions of this organization [UN Watch] and the coordinated comments by satellite organizations, demonstrate yet again the real intent. They seek to destroy, not build, to invite conflict, not build a lasting peace.”
March 18, 2023 UNRWA Deputy Commissioner-General Leni Stenseth “This latest report parallels these organisations’ previous attempts to sensationalize, overstate and sometimes give misguided conclusions derived from what a credible academic organisation described as methodologies ‘marked by generalising and exaggerated conclusions based on methodological shortcomings.’”
November 11, 2023 UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini “False & insidious claims that our schools teach hatred + that we have let the people of #Gaza down come from those who want @UNRWA to fail. They only fuel a toxic & deeply polarized environment.”
November 16, 2023 UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini “UNRWA rejects claims linking its personnel and schools to the abhorrent October 7 attacks in Israel – attacks that UNRWA has condemned in the strongest terms, and which I will always continue to condemn. I question the motivation of those who make such claims, through large advocacy campaigns – especially under these current circumstances.”
January 15, 2024 UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric “I mean, UN Watch has a track record, and I think from our end, it speaks for itself… But, obviously, any allegations are looked into.”
February 2024 UNRWA Fact Sheet “Previous claims by UN Watch and other organizations about the behavior of individuals have often misidentified as UNRWA staff the people allegedly involved.”
March 4, 2024 UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini “UNRWA is facing a deliberate and concerted campaign to undermine its operations, and ultimately end them. Part of this campaign involves inundating donors with misinformation designed to foster distrust and tarnish the reputation of the Agency.”
UN Watch