newsIsrael at War

Rockets under relief supplies raise questions about UNRWA

Released hostages says UNRWA teacher held him captive.

Hamas rockets found hidden among boxes of UNRWA relief supplies in northern Gaza, Dec. 2, 2023. Credit: IDF Spokesperson.
Hamas rockets found hidden among boxes of UNRWA relief supplies in northern Gaza, Dec. 2, 2023. Credit: IDF Spokesperson.

Israeli soldiers found missiles and military gear hidden among U.N. relief supplies in the northern Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces said on Saturday.

One hundred ten rockets, including 30 Grad rockets, were found hidden among boxes belonging to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which supports Palestinian refugees and their descendants, the IDF said.

Russian-made Grad rockets have a range of 12.5-25 miles.

The rockets were found inside a home in a densely populated area of northern Gaza.

In October, the UNRWA reported that fuel humanitarian aid was stolen from one of its compounds by men using trucks purporting to be from the Hamas-run Ministry of Health.

The discovery of the rockets raised further questions about UNRWA.

On Wednesday, one of the released hostages told Channel 13 reporter Almog Boker that he had been held captive by a UNRWA teacher. The hostage said the teacher locked him away and barely fed or cared for his medical treatment.

The UNRWA denied the accusation and asked Almog to provide further proof. Almog responded on X, formerly called Twitter, on Saturday, saying that revealing the identity of the freed hostage would endanger those still captive in Gaza.

“One of them testified he was held hostage and starved by an @UNRWA teacher. That’s not an ‘allegation’. That’s a survivor testimony, and more testimonies are coming,” Almog tweeted.

“While Hamas holds 136 Israeli hostages in Gaza, I can’t share information that could endanger them or identify the survivor. I hope UNRWA treats this more seriously than Hamas’s theft from its stocks and abuse of its civilian facilities for terror activity.”

In November, the U.K.-based Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) issued a report detailing how at least 14 UNRWA teachers celebrated Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacres of Israelis on social media. The report included links and screenshots.

The report also noted that the UNRWA curriculum helped fuel the massacre by noting that IMPACT-se was able to identify at least 118 participants in the Oct. 7 attack as former students of UNRWA schools.

The U.S. State Department allocated more than $220 million for UNRWA in June despite its schools’ curriculum glorifying violence and terrorism, as well as an agreement conditioning funding on the prevention of teaching hate and antisemitism.

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