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Report: UNRWA staff inciting to violence, anti-Semitism online

The Palestinian refugee agency “knowingly and systematically employs purveyors of terror and anti-Jewish hate,” claims U.N. Watch director Hillel Neuer.

Boys raise their hands at a U.N. school in the Gaza Strip, September 2011. Credit: U.N. Photo/Shareef Sarhan.
Boys raise their hands at a U.N. school in the Gaza Strip, September 2011. Credit: U.N. Photo/Shareef Sarhan.

Over 100 teachers and other employees of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees have posted content online that was either anti-Semitic or promoted hatred, according to a new report by U.N. Watch.

The Geneva-based non-governmental organization found 113 instances of incitement to violence by United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) staff, in clear violation of UNRWA’s rules, according to the report.

Among the social media posts cited by U.N. Watch was one from math teacher Nahed Shrarawi, in which she shared a video that included an image of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler along with inspirational quotes. Another UNRWA teacher in the West Bank, by the name of Husni Masri, shared a post promoting conspiracy theories about Jews, including that Jewish people want to rule the world and destroy Islam and were responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to U.N. Watch, incitement to violence and hatred among UNRWA’s 30,000 staff members is a far greater problem than the report shows, as the incidents included in the report pertain only to those with Facebook accounts and who openly identify as agency employees.

U.N. Watch emphasized that since UNRWA has not fired or taken any administrative action against those behind the inciting posts despite requests from the NGO, the agency bears full responsibility for their actions.

“Around the world, educators who incite hate and violence are removed, yet UNRWA, despite proclaiming zero tolerance for incitement, knowingly and systematically employs purveyors of terror and anti-Jewish hate,” said U.N. Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer.

Neuer called on the U.N. agency to fire and publicly condemn employees inciting terrorism and anti-Semitism, and conduct its own internal investigation regarding the matter.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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