A Telegram channel for UNRWA teachers in Gaza with over 3,000 members contains messages glorifying the Hamas massacre of Oct. 7 and encouraging the execution of Israeli hostages, an investigation by Geneva-based human rights NGO UN Watch has found.
“This is the motherlode of UNRWA teachers’ incitement to jihadi terrorism,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.
The Telegram group provides a forum for Gaza-based education workers from the United Nations agency tasked with supporting Palestinians displaced during the 1948 war and their descendants.
Neuer exposed the pro-Hamas and pro-terrorism messages in a series of tweets, including calling out UNRWA teacher Waseem Ula, who posts information he receives from UNRWA Gaza education chief Sami Abu Kamil on salaries. Ula calls to kill Israelis and glorifies a terrorist who participated in the Oct. 7 massacre. He also shared a video celebrating Hamas attacks and posted a picture of a suicide bomb vest with explosives with the caption: “Wait, sons of Judaism.”
Another UNRWA teacher, Abdallah Mehjez, who previously worked for the BBC, urges Gazans to become human shields for Hamas.
In another example, UNRWA teacher Shatha Husam Al Nawajha wishes that “Allah grant” the Hamas terrorists victory.
“All these acts are gross violations of the UN Code of Conduct. We call on the UN and Member States to recognize that UNRWA is infested with incitement to terror,” Neuer tweeted.
Another report published in November by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) revealed evidence of UNRWA teachers and other staff members expressing support for the Oct. 7 massacre.
The report showed that at least 14 teachers and staff at UNRWA schools publicly celebrated the Hamas massacre and other Hamas attacks on their social media accounts.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry has put together a classified report calling for the removal of UNRWA from the Gaza Strip in the long-term, noting that the U.N. relief agency works against Israel’s interests.
The report’s recommendations set out a three-stage process for shrinking and eventually eliminating UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, from the Strip: 1) Prepare a case detailing UNRWA’s cooperation with Hamas; 2) Reduce UNRWA’s field of activity and find replacement service providers; and 3) Transfer UNRWA’s responsibilities to another entity.
The U.S. is UNRWA’s largest donor, disbursing almost $1 billion in funds to the U.N. agency over the last five years, followed by the European Union and other countries. More than 500,000 students study at schools in the Gaza Strip, with over half attending UNRWA-operated schools. These schools teach the Palestinian Authority curriculum, which is replete with antisemitism and encourages violence. UNRWA staff also produce harmful material of their own taught in these schools