In addition, the IDF says at least 30 rockets have been fired at Israeli civilians from UNRWA compounds or places adjacent to them throughout the war.
On July 22, the UN agency found yet another cache of rockets stockpiled in one of its schools, which it said was “situated between two other UNRWA schools that currently each accommodate 1,500 internally displaced persons.”
This came just a week after some 20 Hamas rockets were discovered hidden in a different UNRWA school. Although the organization condemned the incident as a “flagrant violation” of international law, pledged an investigation, and later declared that the rockets had been removed, senior Israeli officials maintained that the rockets were simply returned to Hamas.
In another incident, while inspecting a terror tunnel in a private house in Gaza, IDF forces found UNRWA equipment that has been used to dig the tunnel, along with flour sacks bearing the UNRWA logo that were used for concealment purposes.
Admissions of malfeasance by at least one senior official of UNRWA bolstered the indictments leveled at the UN’s role in Gaza and its official conduct in the conflict. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official told Times of Israel that his agency has been suffering from “battered-wife syndrome” for years and continues to “ingratiate itself with Hamas.”
Another UNRWA official said that the organization gave rockets that it found to “local authorities,” which answer to Hamas.
There is also evidence that the terror group has infiltrated the agency’s labor unions and school system.
According to David Bedein, head of the Center for Near East Policy Research, Hamas has been in control of UNRWA’s workers’ union for many years. In the last union elections on September 2012, the “Professional List,” led by Hamas operative Suhail al-Hindi, won all 11 of the seats that had been allocated to the teachers’ sector, six out of seven of the seats in the workers’ sector and eight of the nine seats in the service sector.
A report issued by the Center also named a number of terrorist operatives holding high-level teaching positions in UNRWA schools, resulting in Hamas having a “tremendous impact on the UNRWA education system and the contents taught in it.”
The radicalization of UNRWA school curricula by Hamas, and its use of the schools as a platform for inculcating children with hatred towards Jews and a desire for martyrdom, has long been documented. Phrases like “the road to Palestine passes through the blood of martyrs” and similar imagery are part of the regular syllabus, says the report. Posters in UNRWA classrooms glorify suicide bombers, and Gazan television stations regularly broadcast shows in which children are prompted to boast of their devotion to killing Jews.
The results, according to the report, speak for themselves. “An examination of the resumes of the Al-Qassam Brigades activists who were killed reveals a pattern,” notes the paper, coauthored by Lt. Col. (res.) Jonathan D. Halevi. “Dozens of activists in the Al-Qassam Brigades started out as activists in the Islamic Bloc in UNRWA schools in the Gaza Strip, joined Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and later the military wing of Hamas, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades. All of them were involved in terrorist activities against Israel or in fighting against the IDF,” Halevi added.
“By definition, UNRWA schools function as a supportive element of the Palestinian propaganda,” says Alan Baker, Director of the International Action Division of the Legal Forum for Israel and former Israeli Ambassador to Canada. Speaking about UNRWA workers, he noted that “it’s very clear what their orientation is—by day they may work in schools and clinics, by night go out and throw stones and commit other acts of terror.”