The United Nations has launched an internal investigation after a video clip was circulated widely last week on social media appearing to show a couple having sex in a U.N. vehicle in Tel Aviv.

In the video, a woman in a red dress is seen straddling a man in the back seat of the vehicle—with a driver and a passenger in the front—on HaYarkon Street, a block away from Tel Aviv’s beachside promenade.

U.N. spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric confirmed to reporters in New York on Friday afternoon that the clip, which is less than 30 seconds long, shows personnel in the car “likely assigned to the U.N. Truce Supervision Organization [UNTSO].”

UNTSO is the Jerusalem-based peace-keeping mission established in 1948 to “monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements and prevent military escalation,” according to the United Nations.

“We are shocked and deeply disturbed by what is seen on the video,” said Dujarric during a regular briefing to U.N correspondents.

“The behavior seen in it is abhorrent and goes against everything that we stand for and having been working to achieve in terms of fighting misconduct by U.N. staff,” Dujarric said of the footage, which was captured by an anonymous source who leaked it to Inner City Press, a news outlet that lost its U.N. accreditation in 2018.

Separately, UNTSO also issued a statement on Friday, asserting, “The Mission stands committed to the Organization’s zero-tolerance policy against any kind of misconduct, including sexual exploitation and abuse, and reminds its personnel of their obligations to the U.N. Code of Conduct. As part of the Secretary-General’s commitment to transparency, we will keep the media informed upon conclusion of the investigation.”

According to the BBC, there were 175 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation among or against U.N. staff in 2019, of which 16 were substantiated, 15 unsubstantiated and the rest still under investigation.

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.

JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.

Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.