UN charity worker convicted of using UN resources to aid Hamas

An employee of a UN charity program in Gaza was convicted by an Israeli court of using his position to aid Hamas terrorists. 

The Southern District prosecution on Wednesday signed a bargain plea with Waheed Borsh, who was arrested in July and charged with exploiting his position at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to assist the Hamas terror organization.

He was sentenced to seven months in prison, and after having served most of his term already, will be released later this month.

Borsh, from Jabaliya in the Gaza Strip, had been working as an engineer for UNDP, one of the world’s largest multilateral development agencies, since 2003. His areas of responsibility included the demolition of houses damaged during armed conflict and clearing rubble from the sites.

The investigation revealed that he was instructed by a senior Hamas member to carry out his task in a way that would serve Hamas’ military interests.

Borsh confessed to aiding Hamas. For example, last year he helped build a military jetty in the northern Gaza Strip – utilizing UNDP resources – to be used by the terror group’s naval forces.

In 2015, acting upon a request by Hamas, he persuaded UNDP managers to prioritize the rehabilitation of housing in areas populated by Hamas members.

During questioning, Borsh disclosed information regarding cases in which Hamas “blatantly and aggressively” exploited UNDP humanitarian activities for its own purposes, the Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) stated in August after the case was publicized.

For example, when weapons or terrorist tunnel openings were discovered in houses under UNDP supervision, Hamas would take control of the site and confiscate arms and other materials.

“This violates clear UN procedures, according to which the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) is supposed to be immediately notified, as the UNMAS is the UN body in charge of dealing with explosive remnants of war,” the Shin Bet underscored.

‘Not an Isolated Case’

The case generated an international uproar after Borsh and other UN employees were caught aiding Hamas.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon called on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to put an end to Hamas exploitation of UN humanitarian services.

“This is not an isolated case, but rather a troubling trend of the systematic exploitation by Hamas terrorists of UN organizations,” Danon charged. “If the UN truly wants to better the lives of the residents of Gaza, it must remove every employee working for the Hamas and sever all ties with organizations aiding terrorists. Only by implementing strict oversight mechanisms can the UN ensure that they are not exploited by the vicious terrorists whose only aim is to murder Jews and destroy the State of Israel.”

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News