UNRWA: Refuting UN Claim That Terrorgram is Not for UNRWA Employees

Last week, the UN spokesperson denied that the UNRWA Terrorgram group we exposed in January is for UNRWA employees, claiming instead that it is for job-seekers looking for employment with UNRWA. Clearly this is a lie. The group itself contains ample evidence that its members are already UNRWA employees and not job-seekers, some of which was detailed in Annex A of our report.

All information about the group indicates that it is for UNRWA Gaza employees on short-term (daily/monthly) contracts. While some may be substitute teachers who are not employed by UNRWA full-time, they are still under UNRWA contracts with obligations to complete mandatory trainings and to abide by UN and UNRWA rules and can be called to teach at any time. Moreover, many of them have been working at UNRWA for years.

Below are examples of evidence from the Telegram group confirming it is for UNRWA employees.

1. Group Name and Description Indicate it is for UNRWA Teachers

The group name is “UNRWA-Gaza Daily Vacancies,” indicating that it is for UNRWA Gaza employees on short-term (daily/monthly) contracts, though as noted many have been employed by UNRWA for years. The Group Info contains the UNRWA logo and the description states that it is “An interactive group for all education workers at the International Relief Agency ‘UNRWA’ – Gaza Region.”

2. Group Founder Advocates for Rights of UNRWA Staff

The group was founded by Hani Jouda who advocates for the rights of UNRWA staff. In August 2022, Jouda was photographed with UNRWA Gaza Director Thomas White at a meeting discussing UNRWA services.

 

3. First Message in Group States Group is for UNRWA Teachers

The first message in the group from the group founder Hani Joudah, dated March 25, 2020, states that the group is intended for UNRWA teachers in the daily contract system to lobby for better working conditions and more employee rights from UNRWA, including permanent contracts.

 

4. Group Admins are UNRWA Teachers

Seven of the Group’s admins are confirmed UNRWA teachers who have been cross-checked and identified with their UNRWA contract numbers on the UNRWA employee lists circulated in the group. An eighth admin stated on LinkedIn that he is an UNRWA Teacher.

  • Waseem Medhat Abo El Ula aka “A. Handsome” UNRWA Contract Number: 30026402, English Teacher
  • Safaa Mohammad Al Najjar UNRWA Contract Number: 30026166, Moghraqa Prep Girls School
  • Maram Mohammad El Madhoun UNRWA Contract Number: 10777810, Jabalia Elementary Boys School, Jabalia
  • Bayan Omar Dahalan aka “Bayan DH” UNRWA Contract Number: 30000426, Abasan Primary Boys School, East Khan Younis
  • Ahmed Gamal Muhammad Ayyash aka “Ahmed Ayyash” UNRWA Contract Number: 30028807, Rafah South Area
  • Hamza Talab Al Najjar aka “Hamza” UNRWA Contract Number: 10777186, Jabalia Preparatory Boys “A”, Jabalia
  • Alaa Akram Madi aka “Akram Mahdi” UNRWA Contract Number: 30026183, Ibn Al Haytham Elementary Boys School
  • Abdallah Mehjaz (Group Admin), LinkedIn Profile confirms he is an UNRWA teacher

 

5. Confidential UNRWA Employee Lists Circulated in Group

The group contains numerous confidential lists of UNRWA employees who are identified with their full names and UNRWA contract numbers, often also with their addresses, telephone numbers, emails, and other private employee information like salaries. One file lists nearly 12,000 UNRWA employees who completed UNRWA’s mandatory e-training courses, identifying each person with their UNRWA contract number and start date. A list concerning days for which the employees need to be compensated contains over 1,500 people identified by their full names, UNRWA Contract number, type of teacher, and school. Another list representing tenured UNRWA employees who were transferred contains over 800 names with UNRWA contract numbers. Yet another list with over 500 names was circulated on a request from the UNRWA human resources department seeking bank transfer details for the listed employees so that it could pay their salaries.

 

6. Group Members Discuss UNRWA Salaries, School Calendar, and Vacation Days

The group members discuss their UNRWA salaries, including the amounts, timing, and logistics of the payments. They also discuss and share staff bulletins about the school calendar, including the start and end dates of the school year, the schedule for school holidays, school cancellation days, and exam days.

7. UNRWA Training Materials Circulated in Group

On multiple occasions, group members shared with each other official UNRWA training materials containing the UNRWA logo, including a handbook for new UNRWA teachers.

 

8. Members Share ILearn (Moodle) Portal Only Accessible with UNRWA Email

Group members shared an invitation to an online learning program on UNRWA’s ILearn Portal which is only accessible with an official UNRWA email.

 

 

9. Questions and Answers to UNRWA Training Exams Shared in Group

Members also shared with each other the questions and answers to mandatory UNRWA training exams in order to help each other pass the exams, including exams on social media and neutrality, ethics, and sexual harassment.

 

10. Internal UNRWA Staff Memos Shared in Group

Group members shared internal UNRWA staff memos and correspondence on UNRWA letterhead, many signed by UNRWA Gaza Director Thomas White. These letters concerned UNRWA administrative matters pertinent to employees such as holiday and summer schedules, compensation, and supervisor visits to schools.

 

11. UNRWA Staff Union Letters Shared in Group

Many letters from the UNRWA staff union on its letterhead were circulated in the group, including this one dated February 1, 2023 concerning a labor strike. Another such letter concerned a general strike for better working conditions.

 

12. Photos of UNRWA School Activities Shared in Group

Among the photos shared in the group was a photo of students sitting in an UNRWA school courtyard during a summer camp assembly in July 2023 and a photo of UNRWA math teacher Mounir Hanoun receiving an award on his retirement.

 

13. Group Members Who Celebrated October 7th Are Confirmed UNRWA Employees

Although many of the group members use nicknames that are not unique, making it impossible to link them to their UNRWA Contract numbers on the employee lists circulated in the group, UN Watch was able to confirm the UNRWA employee status of several of the group members who celebrated Hamas terrorism, including Hamas’s October 7th For example:

  • Israa Abdul Kareem Mezher (Group Admin) aka “Sun of Sunshine,” UNRWA Contract Number: 30010783, Elementary School Arabic Language Teacher. On October 7th, he excitedly celebrated the Hamas massacre “God is the greatest God is the greatest” and declared “Israel’s time is over.”
  • Waseem Medhat Abu El Ula (Group Admin) aka “A. Handsome,” UNRWA Contract Number: 30026402, Gaza (Nuseirat) English Teacher. Calls to kill Israelis— “execute the first settler” —and prays for terrorists’ success.
  • Safaa Mohammad Al Najjar (Group Admin), UNRWA Contract Number 30026166. On October 7th, she praised Hamas Mujahidin (“holy warriors”).
  • Abdallah Mehjaz (Group Admin), LinkedIn Profile confirms he is an UNRWA teacher. Urges Gaza civilians not to leave harm’s way, and instead to serve as human shields for Hamas.
  • Safaa Mohammad Al Najjar (Group Admin), aka “Safaa Al-Najjar,” UNRWA Contract Number 30026166, Computer Teacher at Rafah Moghraqa Prep Girls School. Excitedly celebrates October 7th Hamas massacre as “resistance on the roof of settlers’ houses” with heart emoji.
  • Moreed Abdulaziz Issa, UNRWA Contract Number: 30016859, Teacher at Shouka Elem Coed School. On October 7th, he celebrated the Hamas massacre of Israelis “What we did exceeded expectations… What they do after doesn’t matter.”
  • Shatha Husam Al Nawajha, aka “Shatha Elnawajha,” UNRWA Contract Number: 30030836, Math Teacher. On October 7th, she prayed for the success of the Hamas terrorists— “May God protect them and guide their aim.” She also wished for the terrorists’ “victory” and for their “safe return” with “booty.”
  • Ibrahim Sami El Sultan, aka “Ibrahim Sultan,” UNRWA Contract Number: 30016429, Programme Education in Jabalia. On October 7th, he cheered Hamas’s hostage-taking.
  • “Yousif’s Mother,” chat history includes conversations about her UNRWA salary. On October 7th, she praised Hamas terrorists as “heroes,” marveled at their “hearts,” and prayed for God to “guide their aim.”
  • Abdul Rahman Ibrahim Hussein Zaqout aka “Hussein,” chat history includes conversations about UNRWA salary and other UNRWA administrative matters. On October 13th he prayed to “break the Jews and their camp.”
  • Weam Majdi Kalloub, aka “Majdi Azzam,” UNRWA Contract Number 10777281. On May 13, 2021, he celebrated the 2021 Lod pogrom in which Israeli Arab rioters burned three synagogues, torched cars, threw rocks, and firebombed Jewish homes. “God is the greatest and all praise be to God,” he wrote.
  • “Yaser,” posed in front of his UNRWA classroom blackboard. He posted “Oh, how much I hate the Jews.”
  • Hadeel A. Baset Mahdi aka “Hadeel Mahdi,” UNRWA Contract Number 30022924. On May 13, 2021, Hadeel Mahdi responded to photos and posts celebrating Hamas’s new long-range rocket, referring to Hamas as “guardians of glory.”
  • “Ahmad Abu Laila,” chat history discussions about UNRWA salaries and student test scores. On May 13, 2021, he excitedly celebrated Hamas rockets launched on Israel.

 

UN Watch

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