TEL AVIV – Palestinian United Nations employees are using social media to praise Hitler, Hamas and terrorists responsible for attacks against Israelis, UN Watch said in a new report presented to a joint Congressional subcommittee on Sunday.
The 130-page report was a follow-up on an original investigation in 2015 which found that employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the international body’s agency for Palestinian refugees, were supportive of terror.
The report included screenshots of social media posts from 40 employees working in UNRWA schools in the region which, the report said, “incite to Jihadist terrorism and anti-Semitism, including by posting Holocaust-denying videos and pictures celebrating Hitler.”
UN Watch, a group that monitors the international body, presented the report to a Congressional subcommittee hearing on the UN, Palestinians and Israelis, as well as sending letters to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and U.S. envoy to the UN Nikki Haley, asking them to “take action and demand UN and UNRWA condemnation of the incitement, and the immediate termination of the implicated employees.”
Ghanem Naim Ghoneim, a biology teacher at an UNWRA school in Lebanon, posted photos of Adolf Hitler with the accompanying captions “our beloved” and “Hitler the great.”
Jordanian Hussein Amrah, a self-identified principal of an UNRWA school, shared a photo of Hamas terrorists accompanied by the text “Victory is coming. God willing.” In another instance, the principal shared a picture of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh with the words “We will never recognize Israel.”
This “grossly violates UNRWA employees’ duty of neutrality, and the antisemitic posts violate their duty to reject racism in all its forms,” the report said.
UNRWA’s spokesperson Chris Gunness told The Times of Israel that the agency was looking into the allegations “as part of our ongoing commitment to maintaining the Agency’s neutrality.”
However, Gunness also said, “The outrageous alleged statements apparently posted online by a tiny fraction of present or former staff do not in any way represent the commitments to neutrality and principles of humanity and independence of 30,000 staff serving with conscience and professionalism in the conflict zones of the Middle East.”
After the last report was released in October 2015, UNRWA said it took punitive measures against some employees, including “suspension and loss of pay,” but refused to name who they were, saying that doing so would “violate standard employee privacy,” Gunness said.
He added that his organization will introduce social media training for all its staff over the coming months.
In 2015, the U.S. awarded UNRWA over $380 million.