Several UNRWA staffers praised Hamas’s October 7 massacres, report finds

‘This is an unforgettable glorious morning,’ said an UNRWA employee about onslaught; ‘What a splendid sight!’ wrote another on fires caused by Hamas rockets, according to IMPACT-se

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

School girls watch as UNRWA’s commissioner-general, Pierre Krahenbuhl, gives a press conference to launch a global campaign to support UNRWA, at the UNRWA Rimal Girls Preparatory School in Gaza City, January 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
School girls watch as UNRWA’s commissioner-general, Pierre Krahenbuhl, gives a press conference to launch a global campaign to support UNRWA, at the UNRWA Rimal Girls Preparatory School in Gaza City, January 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Some members of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees have expressed praise for the atrocities committed by the Hamas terror group on October 7, according to a Monday report by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) organization.

The report details social media posts by numerous Gaza- and West Bank-based members of UNRWA, which provides welfare and humanitarian services for Palestinian refugees from the 1948 and 1967 wars and their descendants. The posts by staff members, including teachers and educational staff, expressed praise or approval of the October 7 onslaught, during which thousands of terrorists murdered 1,400 people in Israel, mostly civilians massacred amid brutal atrocities, and abducted at least 245 to the Gaza Strip.

IMPACT-se, an organization based in the UK and Israel, monitors education curricula around the world to determine whether they are in compliance with UNESCO standards on peace, tolerance and nonviolence.

The Monday report highlights comments by 14 UNRWA members, and examines the participation of UNRWA school graduates in terror attacks against Israeli civilians as well as the presence of antisemitic and jihadist content in textbooks used in UNRWA schools.

Among those UNRWA staff highlighted by the report were Ebrahim Al Azaiza, whose Facebook page says he works for UNRWA and lives in Gaza City.

On October 7, Al Azaiza posted a video showing cars burning following a rocket strike that hit an Israeli city, which he captioned with the words “What a splendid sight!” along with happy emojis and fire emojis.

An UNRWA employee applauds Hamas rocket attacks on Israel, adding smiley face emojis to his comments. (Screnshot/Facebook used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Afaf Talab, another Gaza-based UNRWA teacher living in Gaza City, posted a video on his Facebook page on November 4 in which the Hamas massacre was described as the “first real victory” on the way to “liberating” all of Palestine, while praising the destruction of Israeli communities with “1,000 men in 3 hours” causing “entire cities emptied out in one night.”

Talab also posted a supplication to God on his Facebook page on October 23  which incited against Jews. The word Jews was misspelled, possibly deliberately in order to avoid automatic detection by Facebook algorithms.

“God repay [the enemies] for their evils, God make their actions be their destruction, God handle the Jews [misspelled] and their supporters, please God, Amen,” Talab posted.

اللهم اجعل شرورهم في نحورهماللهم اجعل تدبيرهم في تدميرهماللهم عليك بالي&ود و من والاهم يا اللهاللهم آمييييين يا رب

Posted by Afaf Talab on Sunday, October 22, 2023

Ranoosh Salah — who says on her Facebook page that she lives in Rafah and works at UNRWA’s Gaza Training Centre, which provides vocational training to pupils in Gaza — published a post on October 7 praising the Hamas massacre as it was unfolding, writing “this is an unforgettable glorious morning.”

*هذا صباح عزٍّ لن يُنسى 7/10/2023????????اللهم سلم شباب غزة

Posted by Ranoosh Salah on Saturday, October 7, 2023

And Mahmoud Abu Adhm, an UNRWA employee in Gaza City who says he works as a construction engineer, wrote a Facebook post on October 10 claiming that showing mercy would demonstrate weakness, and then quoted verses from Islamic scriptures stating: “Do not walk past a captive who has not been given amnesty without striking off his neck so as to terrorize the enemy.”

‏إنَّ وضعَ الرَّحمة في غير موضعها خَوَرٌ وضعفألستم تقرؤون في المصحف:﴿مَا كَانَ لِنَبِيٍّ أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُ أَسْرَى…

Posted by Mahmoud Abu Adhm on Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Sarah Alderawy, another UNRWA employee who works as an English-language teacher and lives in Gaza City, posted a video clip to her Facebook page showing Hamas terrorists in a pickup truck driving along the streets of an Israeli city, shooting at Israeli cars, as well as fires resulting from rocket attacks on Israel.

The video was accompanied by a Quranic verse stating: “We will surely come to them with soldiers that they will be powerless to encounter, and we will surely expel them in humiliation, and they will be debased.”

More broadly, the IMPACT-se study found that at least 100 Hamas members who have carried out terror attacks against Israelis in recent years are graduates of the UNRWA education system.

This includes Moaz Saad Al-Masry, one of the Hamas terrorists who killed Lucy Dee and two of her daughters, Maia and Rina, in a shooting attack in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley in April.

Al-Masry was shot and killed by IDF troops during a gun battle after the soldiers entered Nablus to arrest him and one of his accomplices in May.

A webpage from the website of Hamas’s Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades armed forces showing slain terrorist Moaz Saad Al-Masry who participated in the killing of three members of the Dee family in April 2023 and who studied in the UNRWA school system. (Screenshot/Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades website, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The report said that over half of Gaza’s 500,000 school pupils attend UNRWA-operated educational institutions, and that the Palestinian Authority curriculum taught in these schools “is replete with antisemitism and encourages violence,” while UNRWA staff add their own harmful educational materials to the curriculum.

Previous IMPACT-se reports have demonstrated that “UNRWA educational materials incite to violence, glorify martyrdom, demonize Israel, and promote antisemitism,” the report added.

“Time and again we have warned that UNWRA staff and school materials have created a breeding ground for terror. Our worst fears have now been tragically realized with the horrific attack on October 7,” said IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff.

“All governments that fund UNWRA, including the United States, must urgently review and concurrently freeze financial support to UNRWA to help ensure that another generation is not lost to the evils of hatred and incitement.”

UNRWA hasn’t responded to a request for comment on the report.

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