click here to jump to start of article
  • Torah Reading: Naso
Join Our Newsletter

Get latest articles and videos with Jewish inspiration and insights​

UNRWA's Hamas Employees

UNRWA's Hamas Employees

A UN official admits that Hamas members are on his payroll. Media outlets ignore it.


Peter Hansen (pictured at right), Commissioner-General of the UN agency in Gaza and the West Bank, made a startling admission in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday (10/4):

I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll and I don't see that as a crime... we do not do political vetting and exclude people from one persuasion as against another.

With this statement, Hansen verified what Israel has long contended ― the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), rather than performing a neutral humanitarian role in Palestinian regions, is actually infested with terrorists who use international funds and UN safe havens to facilitate attacks on Israeli civilians.

Hansen attempted to draw a distinction between UN employees who identify with Hamas 'politically,' as opposed to 'militant' Hamas members, but that distinction has been categorically rejected by the United States and the European Union, both of which blacklist all branches of Hamas, and freeze all Hamas assets, without exception.

Despite the gravity of this matter, Hansen's admission that Hamas members are on the UN payroll has ― as of now ― received scant media attention. The Associated Press, for example, buried Hansen's statement in an article that focused primarily on IDF air strikes, and the New York Times has yet to even acknowledge Hansen's admission.

This error of omission is particularly troubling in light of Israel's ongoing campaign in Gaza to stop Hamas from firing rockets into Israeli towns such as Sderot.

Hansen has long been accused of anti-Israel bias. In the wake of the 2002 Jenin operation, Hansen gave interviews falsely describing 'wholesale obliteration... a human catastrophe that has few parallels in recent history,' 'helicopters... strafing civilian residential areas,' and 'bodies... piling up' in 'mass graves.' Some of this carnage Hansen even claimed to have seen 'with my own eyes.'

Hansen's admission of UN/Hamas links came amidst a controversy over suspicious use of a UN ambulance in Gaza, with some claiming that footage from an airborne drone (pictured at right) shows Palestinian terrorists hiding a Kassam rocket in the vehicle. (View the film here.)

Regardless of whether this specific incident constituted abuse, the UNRWA ― under Hansen's watch ― has been responsible for numerous documented acts of abetting Palestinian terrorism, including:

May 2004: Armed Palestinians are filmed (at left) using UNRWA ambulances to transport terrorists and, possibly, remains of fallen Israeli soldiers in Gaza.

Sept. 2003: After the Israeli military court convicts three UNRWA employees for terrorist activities (such as throwing firebombs at a public bus), Israel detains at least 16 other UNRWA staff members for various security-related matters.

● Dec. 2002: A Shin Bet report indicates that numerous UNRWA facilities in the West Bank and Gaza had been used by Palestinian terrorists as meeting grounds and for weapons storage.

Sept. 2002: Nahd Attala, a senior official of UNRWA in Gaza, reveals that in June-July 2002, he used his UNRWA car for the transportation of armed members of Fatah who were on their way to carry out a missile attack against Jewish settlements. In addition, Nahd admits he used an UNRWA car to transport a 12 kg explosive charge for his brother-in-law, a Fatah member.

●  August 2002: Nidal Nazzal, a Hamas member and ambulance driver employed by UNRWA, confesses to transporting weapons and explosives in an UNRWA ambulance, and that he had taken advantage of the freedom of movement he enjoyed to transmit messages among Hamas members in various Palestinian towns.

●  February 2002: Alaa Muhammad Ali Hassan, a Tanzim member, confesses during interrogation that he had carried out a sniper shooting from the school run by UNRWA in the al-Ayn refugee camp near Nablus. He also told his interrogators that bombs intended for terrorist attacks were being manufactured inside the UNRWA school's facilities.


The infiltration of the UNRWA by Palestinian terrorists is all the more disturbing given the funding structure of this international 'humanitarian' organization. As David Bedein reports:

The salaries of UNRWA workers are paid through contributions that UNRWA receives from 38 contributing countries. The U.S. provides 30% of that budget, Canada contributes 4% of that budget, and the European countries contribute well over 55% of that budget.

In other words, the western democracies of the world pay the salaries of the Hamas terrorists on the payroll of UNRWA.

Upon hearing Hansen's admission of Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll, a spokesperson for Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs said, 'we are deeply concerned, and will immediately seek clarification from Mr. Hansen directly and from UN authorities.'

Canada's contribution to UNRWA is $10 million a year, and total US support to UNRWA is approximately $100 million per year. This, despite the fact that the use of US taxpayer funds for foreign refugees who have engaged in acts of terrorism is illegal under the amended Section 301(c) of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act.

October 9, 2004

Give Tzedakah! Help create inspiring
articles, videos and blogs featuring timeless Jewish wisdom.
The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 7

(7) Gary Grover, July 30, 2006 12:00 AM

Time for the U.N. to be History

I applaud your willingness to assault the above referenced "newspapers" with letters decrying their insane acceptance of U.N. impertinence. However, this neglect of the U.N. to hide their anti-Jew mindset is only the latest of hundreds of episodes that can be easily pinned on them through the decades. Writing to these anti-American, anti-Israel, left-wing excuses for newspapers is, unfortunately, a complete waste of time and effort. They will smugly snicker at our "intolerant" "non-inclusive" "racist" attitudes and our unwillingness to embrace "multi-culturalism" and "diversity" by not wanting Hamas members to be on the U.N. payroll. My attitude is to stop American funding of the U.N., no more American involvement in the U.N., have the U.N. move out of America, and replace Condi Rice with John Bolton as Secretary of State. Working toward these goals makes a lot more sense than writing letters to the main stream Moron media.

(6) Sandy Betty, November 8, 2004 12:00 AM

U.N. is NO Friend to Israel and America

This type of situation is exactly why Pres. George W. Bush prefers not to have to beg the UN to help us or approve of our self defense. The UN has an active history of being anti-American and anti-Jewish. It was Bush and Evangelicals who stood up to the UN. John Kerry gave a pre-election Day speech in Michigan, which has a large Arab population, and told them he'll have a more balanced policy, etc. Then he went to NY and said he'll fully support Israel. Please.

Israel and the U.S.A. are tied by a moral umbilican cord. The rest of Europe would not mind seeing Americans or Israel pushed into the sea.

(5) Michael Rubin, October 16, 2004 12:00 AM

Please sign this petition calling for the UN to dismiss Peter Hansen

We will send this to the UN as soon as possible!

Thank you and G-d bless.

(4) Liliana, October 15, 2004 12:00 AM

Article that should be published among non-jews as well

First of all, thank you for all your articles, clear and in big letters, easy to read. It's sad to see that publications in the world about the palestinian problem in Israel take the side of terrorists as if they were the victims and not criminals. As a spanish native speaker I often watch the news from Spain about Israel and the way that spanish journalists present the israeli-palestinian conflict scares me. Spain is now reviving the Inquisition period through the media, brainwashing their population aganinst jews. I would like jewish people to be allowed to give their opinion in spanish newspapers like they do in english-speaking media. Jews are completed censured from public spanish opinion. How can we help the jewish community in antisemitic countries like Spain to let them be heard publicly in order to neutralize so many lies about them? It's high time jewish politicians and influencial people be involved in the fight against international antisemitic press.

(3) Mori Goldlist, October 10, 2004 12:00 AM

Are they refugee camps or military camps?

If it is true that the refugee camps in Gaza and the West Bank are under the control of the United Nations, why is the United Nations not doing something to put a stop to their refugee camps being used as military post for the likes of parties such as Hammas, who are acknowledged to be from "outside" the camps.

Can Israel not launch perhaps a lawsuit against the UN for allowing the camps to be used to harbour terrorists and their manufacturing facilities that churn out weapons of war??

See All Comments

Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment