The UN Watch report identified 22 UNRWA teachers in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan who posted inflammatory material against Jews or Israel on their Facebook profiles. It has documented more than 100 incidents since 2015.
The organization urged UNRWA donors, including the United States and the European Union, to withdraw funding in light of the findings and maintained that the United Nations agency had taken no action against the workers involved since she started bringing the information to her attention six years ago. .
The report features dozens of examples and screenshots, all taken from publicly available Facebook profiles of people who identify online as UNRWA workers.
Among them, math professor Nahed Sharawi from Gaza, who shared a video of Hitler, highlighting the Nazi leader’s inspirational quotes to “enrich and enlighten your thoughts and minds.”
Mohammed M. Alhourani, head of a health center at UNRWA in Jordan, has promoted a theory that wealthy Jews created the coronavirus. He also shared an image of Israeli soldiers arresting Palestinians, with the caption: “The day will come when [they] will urinate on their [the Jews’] heads to cleanse them of their filth ”, adding“ they will come back to you as slaves, as they once were ”.
Refugee schoolgirls watch UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl give a press conference to launch a global campaign in support of UNRWA, at the UNRWA Rimal Girls’ Preparatory School in Gaza City, on January 22, 2018 (AP Photo / Adel Hana)
Saeed Khalaf Abu Freh, math teacher at UNRWA in Jordan, and Maya Mahahi, English teacher in Syria, praised a Palestinian teenager who killed Israeli soldier Gal Keidan and Rabbi Achiad Ettinger, a father of 12 children, during a terrorist attack in 2019 in the West Bank.
Other UNRWA teachers glorified the 1929 massacres of Jews in Hebron and the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre of Israeli athletes, and praised other convicted terrorists.
Others posted pictures of themselves with guns or images of Palestinian children wielding guns, as well as endorsements of violence.
Husni Masri, an UNRWA teacher in the West Bank, shared a conspiracy theory that Israel created COVID-19 to obstruct Muslim worship. Fahed Momo, an administrative assistant for UNRWA, also quoted Hitler.
Many other educators have been cited denying Israel’s right to exist.
“All over the world, educators who incite hatred and violence are systematically removed from the classroom for life, but UNRWA, despite its proclamation of zero tolerance for incitement, knowingly and systematically employs terrorists. and anti-Jewish hatred, ”said Hillel Neuer, director of UN Watch. in a report.
“We call on the governments that fund UNWRA to take action to end the vicious cycle of generations learning to hate and violently attack Jews. We demand that UNRWA tackle the central problem and demonstrate its true commitment to basic standards of education in its schools, by publicly condemning UNRWA employees who incite terrorism and anti-Semitism, by dismissed them from their posts and by creating an independent and impartial investigation of all its staff, ”he said.
A spokesperson for UNWRA declined to respond to the specific allegations raised by the report, but said the agency would continue to take the allegations of hatred and incitement seriously.
“UNRWA has zero tolerance for incitement and hate and takes allegations that may involve its staff on issues of neutrality and / or bias very seriously. Every UNRWA staff member is trained to respect the principles of neutrality and non-discrimination and is held accountable and disciplined if there is a violation, ”said UNRWA spokesperson Sami Mshasha.
Under the administration of former US President Donald Trump, Washington largely cut funding to the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA, which operates a network of educational and medical programs for Palestinian refugees in the Middle East.
But the Biden administration took over funding for the agency, adding $ 150 million in economic aid.
Israel has long pushed for the closure of UNRWA, arguing that this contributes to perpetuating conflict with the Palestinians as it confers refugee status on the descendants of those initially displaced during Israel’s war for independence. .
Pro-Israel supporters have also long criticized UNRWA for its textbooks, which they say encourage incitement. Israeli watch groups accused UNRWA’s programs of promoting violence and denying Israel’s right to exist.
Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley also defended the end of funding for the relief agency, arguing it was responsible for perpetuating Palestinian poverty and wondering if the millions of people she serves are really refugees.
UNRWA, whose 28,000 employees are mostly descendants of refugees, provides services such as education and health care to an estimated 5.7 million Palestinians in camps in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon , in the West Bank and Gaza.