UNRWA Suspends Staff for Inciting Anti-Semitism and Violence on Social Media

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has suspended, but not fired, several employees for posting anti-Semitic and violent content on social media.

By: Sara Abramowicz, World Israel News
UNRWA school in Gaza

UNRWA molding impressionable young minds. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, quietly disciplined a number of employees for social media messages inciting violence against Jews. The announcement came shortly after UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness lambasted the watchdog organization, UN Watch, for its “baseless allegation of anti-Semitism” by UNRWA employees.

Buried deep in a bracketed addendum to an October 20 press briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, the UN noted that UNRWA staff had been found to have posted anti-Semitic materials on social media. However, the press briefing made sure to emphasize that many of the social media accounts inciting violence either belonged to former UNRWA employees or were fake accounts.

“In some cases, it has determined the alleged UNRWA staff are not in fact UNRWA employees or are no longer UNRWA employees. However, and very regrettably, in a number of cases so far, the Agency has found staff Facebook postings to be in violation of its social media rules. These postings have been removed and the staff have been subject to both remedial and disciplinary action, including suspension and loss of pay,” the briefing stated.

UN Watch published a report last week and previously in September documenting social media posts by 22 UNRWA employees calling for violence. UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness responded to the allegations via Twitter by calling on journalists to ignore the “baseless allegation of anti-semitism” and asking followers to help provide information on the organization’s financial records.