Photo Credit: Arie Leib Abrams / Flash 90
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan at the General Assembly Hall, January 16, 2023.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan on Wednesday launched a scathing verbal attack on the world body, labeling it a “terror organization” amid escalating tensions stemming from Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza and incidents involving UN facilities in Jerusalem.

In an interview with Army Radio on Wednesday, Ambassador Erdan accused the UN of becoming “a collaborator with Hamas… maybe even more than that – a terror organization unto itself.”


He claimed the UN “cooperates with Hamas, provides cover for it” and condemned UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for “being quick to criticize Israel.”

Erdan’s remarks ratcheted up the rhetoric against the UN at a time when Israel is engaged in intense fighting against Hamas terrorists in Gaza. His branding of the UN as a “terror organization” reflects deep Israeli frustration with the deep and persistent anti-Israel bias and lack of evenhandedness from the international organization.

Erdan’s inflammatory remarks followed at least two arson attacks over the past week against the eastern Jerusalem headquarters of UNRWA, the UN agency in charge of maintaining the refugee state of the children and grandchildren of Arabs who fled Israel in 1949. While other UN and international agencies devote their resources to finding host countries where refugees may finally be able to start new lives, UNWRA is all about keeping the children of refugees down where they are, with no prospects for rehabilitation.

UNRWA stated the attacks were carried out by “Israeli children and young people.” They followed right-wing protests at the UNRWA facility last week. The Israeli protesters pounded on the gates of the agency’s headquarters to protest its shameful denials of the participation of dozens of its staff members in the Hamas atrocities of October 7, 2023.

The situation further escalated when Arieh King, the deputy mayor of Jerusalem, last Thursday tweeted that the UN is a “Nazi organization,” and declared, “There is no place for the enemy in our holy city.”

Tensions escalated further on Tuesday after the IDF released drone footage showing Hamas gunmen operating from a UN facility in Rafah. The footage showed armed men entering white UN vehicles and firing upon civilians near the compound (Video Reveals Hamas Shooting Gazan Civilians at UNRWA Facility in Rafah).

Juliette Touma, UNRWA’s communications director, stated that while the aid agency could not verify the authenticity of the video, it was “likely” filmed at a warehouse in Rafah that UNRWA was forced to evacuate last week ahead of the IDF ground incursion into the area.

IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari on Tuesday called on the UN “to urgently investigate the connection between UNRWA’s logistics centers to Hamas operatives.”

The release of the footage by Israel, along with the demand for a UN investigation, represents a significant escalation in rhetoric and accusations that UNRWA facilities are being exploited by Hamas militants during the ongoing conflict in Gaza. UNRWA is pushing back against the allegations, though the videos have raised fresh concerns over potential misuse of UN resources and locations.

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