update deskOctober 7

Video shows UNRWA staffer carrying murdered Israeli’s corpse on Oct. 7

The social worker from the U.N. agency and another terrorist are seen stuffing the man's body into the back of an SUV and driving off.

UNRWA social worker Faisal Ali Mussalem al-Naami (rear), carrying the body of a murdered Israeli man, is seen along with another terrorist at Kibbutz Be'eri, Oct. 7, 2023. Screenshot: South First Responders/Telegram.
UNRWA social worker Faisal Ali Mussalem al-Naami (rear), carrying the body of a murdered Israeli man, is seen along with another terrorist at Kibbutz Be'eri, Oct. 7, 2023. Screenshot: South First Responders/Telegram.

Jerusalem on Friday publicized a video showing a social work for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) abducting the body of a murdered Israeli man during the Hamas-led massacre of Oct. 7.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Friday identified the UNRWA employee as Faisal Ali Mussalem al-Naami, along with 11 other staff members who participated in the cross-border attack that killed some 1,200 people and wounded thousands more, with some 250 others kidnapped and held captive in Gaza.

Al-Naami, along with his UNRWA social-work duties, is a terrorist operative in Hamas’s Nusirat Battalion.

The CCTV camera footage from the entrance to Kibbutz Be’eri, which was first published on the “South First Responders” Telegram channel on Oct. 10, shows him and an accomplice with a rifle picking up the corpse of the murdered Israeli lying on the street and stuffing it into the back of a white SUV. Two other murdered Israelis lay nearby.

At Friday’s press briefing with foreign reporters, Gallant said another 30 UNRWA employees were involved in the Hamas-led assault on the northwestern Negev.

“In addition to these 12 workers, we have significant indications based on intelligence, that over 30 UNRWA workers participated in the massacre, facilitated the taking of hostages, looted and stole from Israeli communities, and more,” he said.

Additionally, at least 12% of UNRWA employees in Gaza are affiliated with Hamas or Islamic Jihad, Gallant said.

“One thousand four hundred sixty-eight workers are known to be active in Hamas and PIJ, 185 UNRWA workers are active in the ‘military’ branches of Hamas, and 51 are active in the PIJ ‘military’ branch,” he said.

Information on Faisal Ali Mussalem al-Naami provided by Israel on Feb. 16, 2024. Source: Israeli government.

The Israeli allegations have led to 15 countries suspending funding for the U.N. agency and the launch of internal and independent investigations. Israel has also provided documentation of the use of UNRWA facilities for warfare against Israel, including an elaborate tunnel system underneath UNRWA’s headquarters in Gaza with high-tech data servers and intelligence and communication capabilities.

UNRWA spokesperson Jonathan Fowler said in response to the al-Naami video, “It is not possible for UNRWA to verify the footage or photographs and ascertain who the person is. We were not presented with any evidence from the Israeli authorities.

“But given the fact that there is an investigation underway by the highest investigative authorities in the U.N., we invite any country, party or institution with information—including information available in the public domain—to provide it to the Office of Internal Oversight Services at U.N. headquarters to help advance this investigation.”

The Washington Post reported on Friday that al-Naami, five of his children and one of his two wives were killed in a strike on their home in Nuseirat, in the central Gaza Strip, on Oct. 16, citing a UNRWA colleague. The Israel Defense Forces told the newspaper that it “is unaware of a strike at the specified area or time.”

Agency chief accuses Israel of campaign ‘to destroy’ it

Embattled UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini in an interview published on Saturday accused Israel of a campaign aimed at “destroying” the agency.

Philippe Lazzarini
UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini during a visit to al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, Oct. 12, 2021. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.

“It is a long-term political goal because it is believed that if the aid agency is abolished, the status of the Palestinian refugees will be resolved once and for all—and with it, the right of return,” he claimed, referring to allowing the dwindling number of actual refugees and millions of their descendants to be granted citizenship in Israel, fundamentally changing the demographic balance of the Jewish state.

Lazzarini also said in the interview with the Swiss newspaper group Tamedia that 150 UNRWA installations have been struck since the start of the war.

Israeli officials have called for Lazzarini’s resignation in the wake of the revelations about UNRWA workers being involved in the Oct. 7 massacre.

UNRWA pic of war-torn Gaza draws harsh response

An UNRWA picture posted to its X account of demolished buildings in Gaza with the words “There are no words” has garnered 22 million views.

It drew much criticism from X users, including investigative journalist David Collier, who wrote:

“Yes, there are. There are these words. Since 2006 you held hands with Hamas—and helped turn Gaza into a terror enclave. Since Oct 7—not only has all that been exposed—but your social media runs nonstop Hamas propaganda. You are Hamas.”

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