Berlin, Germany (Welttexpress). The British TV station “Channel 4 News” has obtained the Israeli “secret document” in which 12 employees of the UN aid agency UNRWA are accused of having taken part in the Hamas military operation against the Israeli occupiers on 7 October 2023. Evidence? – Not a thing! Nevertheless, the West has stopped supporting UNRWA.

Because of its importance and as an example of investigative journalism instead of government propaganda, I discuss in detail below the Channel 4 News programme of 5 February, which also shows the 6-page secret Israeli dossier. It shows that the Israeli government – contrary to what it claims – has no evidence whatsoever for its serious accusations. But in an act of true chutzpah, the far-right Netanyahu regime has covered up the lack of evidence with an even bigger lie, expanding its original accusations against the 12 to include as many as 190 UNRWA workers.

Chutzpah is a Yiddish term that has long been internationalised and is often used, especially in the USA – either positively, when someone acts with particular courage and self-confidence, or negatively, to describe unusual audacity, brazenness or even impudence. A sarcastic example of the negative interpretation is when a murderer who has killed his mother and father is given the last word by the judge before sentencing and the defendant asks for leniency because he no longer has any parents.

Even the best Germany of all time, whose traffic light government carries its humanism before it like a monstrance in a church procession, has frozen further aid to UNRWA on the basis of Israeli accusations and without an investigation by a neutral party, thus literally condemning countless people in Gaza to death by failing to provide aid. The revelation by the British broadcaster Channel 4 News also explains why the dossier was kept so secret: to prevent the mass murderous lie that the dossier represents from being exposed.

The Channel 4 News programme begins with images of hungry Palestinian children crowded in front of a UNRWA distribution point where porridge is served. This is accompanied by an explanatory voiceover: “The children in Gaza are hungry, and there is great concern that they will become even hungrier. UNRWA is the main UN agency supporting Palestinian refugees. Major donor countries, including the UK, withdrew their funding 10 days ago following allegations in a confidential Israeli document now seen by this programme (Channel 4 News).”

“The document repeats an allegation that the Israeli Defence Forces have made many times before, namely that [quoting from the secret document] ‘the terrorist organisation Hamas has methodically and deliberately planted its terrorist infrastructure in a number of UN facilities and institutions’.”

The Channel 4 News spokeswoman then emphasises: “But the document provides no evidence to support his explosive new claim that UNRWA staff were involved in the terror attacks on Israel.”

At this point, the video again shows the 6-page document with Hebrew characters. At one point, a few lines are highlighted and reproduced in English. The translation reads: “From intelligence information, documents and identity cards confiscated during the fighting, it is now possible to identify some 190 Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists employed as UNRWA workers. More than 10 UNRWA employees took part in the events of 7 October.”

The news presenter then says that Israel had only handed over the document to the donor countries shortly after the International Court of Justice in The Hague had handed down an interim judgement on its genocide charges against Israel. A clip is shown of the presiding judge of the International Court of Justice in The Hague (ICJ) reading from the interim judgement: “Israel must take immediate and effective measures to provide urgently needed basic services and humanitarian aid in Gaza.”

UNRWA spokesman Christopher Gunnes then appears in the image, expressing his outrage at the behaviour of Western donor countries and saying: “It is absolutely shocking that the very donors who have accused UNRWA of instrumentalising humanitarian aid are now doing exactly that themselves by using UNRWA as a weapon [by stopping aid].”

“What they are doing is a violation of international humanitarian law. It is a violation of international principles. It is a violation of the ICJ judgement that says no one should obstruct international humanitarian aid. But what the UK and others have done here is exactly that: they are obstructing aid. And that is a violation of the Genocide Convention because it will destroy the lives of 1.2 million people who were already queuing at UNRWA food distribution points before 7 October. And they will get even longer. If the decision to stop aid is not reversed, it will undoubtedly lead to mass starvation.”

This is where the presenter comes back in and explains that in addition to emergency aid, UNRWA also runs schools, hospitals and other services for 5.9 million Palestinian refugees in the Middle East. This UN agency employs 13,000 aid workers, all of whose names have been checked against the UN terror list, as recently as May last year. They were also vetted and approved by Israel. UNRWA immediately dismissed the 12 employees named in the document and launched an investigation.

A cut to the European Union’s foreign policy representative, Josep Borrell from Spain, who is in favour of the continuation of UNRWA emergency aid in Gaza, explains: “UNRWA plays a crucial role. It is true that the Israeli government is very critical. Not just now, but for a long time. But we cannot penalise 2 million people by depriving them of the support that UNRWA provides. Who else will look after them?”

Another cut, and the next scene shows the Israeli Prime Minister, who met with a UN delegation last week. He is visibly angry about the UN reports on the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza, which were cited as evidence of genocide at the hearing before the ICJ in The Hague. Added to this is his anger that UNRWA employees were allegedly involved in acts of terrorism by Hamas. At one point, Netanyahu speaks into the camera: “I think it’s time for the international community in the UN itself to understand that their troublesome [UNRWA] mission must end!”

The Israeli army is obviously already trying to do this with its own military means. The monitor now shows a still image of a lorry on the side of the road. Its loading area has been ripped open by a grenade explosion and part of its load of boxes and crates is scattered around. The Channel 4 News anchor comments on the picture, saying that on the same day UNRWA released photos showing a lorry loaded with food in Gaza “hit by Israeli navy gunfire”.

Another change of image. An aerial shot shows a huge, obviously makeshift tent camp.

Cut to a video interview in which a journalist from Channel 4 News asks UNRWA Director of Communications Juliette Touma the question: “There seems to be no end to the suffering in Gaza. Today the UN Secretary General announced an investigation into UNRWA, to be led by a former French foreign minister. If UNRWA had to close, another organisation would have to step in. According to international law in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the occupying power, i.e. Israel, is responsible for this.” But Israel has not honoured this responsibility once since 1948.

Cut again, this time to a slightly longer video interview between a Channel 4 News journalist and UNRWA Director of Communications Juliette Touma:

Question: Mrs Touma, Have you received any evidence from Israel to support the allegations made against the 12 UNRWA workers?

Answer: There is an ongoing investigation that is not being conducted by UNRWA. It is being conducted by the UN’s highest investigative office. This investigation is ongoing and they will do their work and look into all these allegations.
Question: When was the last time UNRWA gave a list of its employees or contractors to Israel?

Answer: Every year we send a list of all our staff working with us in the region to the host governments and we have not received a response from the Israeli government about the contents of this list.

Question: Were the 12 names against which Israel has levelled allegations on this list, which was sent in May 2023?

Answer: I assume that they were.

Question: That must have been a surprise.

Answer: It was a shock.

Question: As you know, dismissal is not usually the first action taken when allegations are made against employees in a large organisation. As a rule, suspension takes place until an investigation is completed. Has UNRWA itself found evidence or has it received evidence from elsewhere that appears to indicate that the Israeli accusations are justified?

Answer: The Commissioner-General of UNRWA has taken this decision in the best interests of the organisation.

Question: Excuse me, do you understand the question I am asking? As far as I understand it, allegations were made. You then dismissed these people and terminated their employment. Did you take this step, which is usually a big step, after allegations were made, based on evidence that may not yet have been brought into the public debate, or simply because of the seriousness of these allegations?

Answer: The latter, because these allegations are so serious, and as I said before, the Commissioner General of UNRWA did this in the best interest of the organisation, because this (the affair) carries enormous risks, both for the reputation of the organisation and for the largest humanitarian operation in response to the war.

Question: Did you realise at the time that the donor countries would stop funding UNRWA?

Answer: I would say we informed our biggest donors. I don’t think any of us anticipated that this large number of our friendly donors, who have been our partners for decades, would suspend funding as quickly as they did. I mean, in a little over 24 hours, nine of our donors have stopped funding UNRWA. I also don’t think any of us anticipated that this would happen in the middle of a war and for the largest humanitarian organisation responding to one of the most complex and difficult humanitarian crises in the world.

Question: Is there anything comparable that you can think of – a suspension of funding before an investigation has even begun?

Answer: I can’t think of anything. The worst thing about the suspension of funding is that about half of the agencies’ operational budget is lost. We’re talking about a huge amount of money here.

Question: Given the suspension of funding from these major donors, how long can you continue to operate?

Answer: We will probably be forced to cease operations at the end of February, beginning of March if funding is not resumed.

Question: But what does that mean in practice, given that your activities are so extensive? Does that mean that everything – the schools and educational institutions, all the agencies – all, all work will simply stop?

Answer from UNRWA Communications Director Juliette Touma: We will be forced to make very difficult decisions that humanitarian workers should not be forced to make.

End of the interview.

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