UN Demands Release of Worker Who Aided Hamas, Labels Beersheba an Arab City

August 26, 2016

2 min read

The UN’s Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) sent a letter to Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, requesting the release of Waheed Abdallah Borsh, a UNDP worker arrested in July for illegally diverting millions of dollars of humanitarian relief to Hamas. In the letter, the UN specifically referred to the Israeli city of Beersheba by an Arabic name.

The letter sent earlier this week cited Article 105 of the UN Charter, which Israel adopted in 1949, stating that Borsh, as a UN employee, “enjoys immunity from personal arrest or detention, as well as immunity from legal process in respect of words spoken or written and acts done in performance of his mission.”

Borsh is being held in an Israeli jail in Beersheba, which the letter referred to in Arabic as  Ber asaabeaa. The eighth largest city in Israel in terms of population, and the second largest in terms of size, Beersheba has been part of Israel since 1948 and is universally recognized as within Israel’s borders.

Beersheba is mentioned many times in the Bible, receiving its name when Abraham entered into a covenant with Avimelech. ‘Beer’ means ‘well’. ‘Sheva means both ‘oath’ and ‘seven’.

Wherefore that place was called Be’er Sheva; because there they swore both of them. Genesis 21:31

“Israel operates according to the law, and we continue to do so in this case as well,” said Ambassador Danon in response to the letter. “We do not grant immunity to terrorists trying to harm our citizens.”

“The UN and other organizations must implement a comprehensive reform of the humanitarian aid mechanism in Gaza,” said Ambassador Danon, “Any dollar spent, and any local hire by an international organization, must be monitored ensure they fulfill the purpose of aiding the residents of Gaza and not fund terror activities.”

“It is inconceivable that a man aiding a terrorist organization will enjoy UN immunity,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement Thursday.

Under interrogation by Israeli security officials, Borsh revealed that many other Palestinians employed at humanitarian aid agencies are, in fact, working for Hamas.

In June, the Shin Bet security agency arrested Muhammad Halabi at the Erez Crossing as he was trying to return to the Gaza Strip. Halabi was Gaza manager of operations for World Vision. One of the largest Christian charities in the world. Halabi was indicted in an Israeli court for funneling 60% of the World Vision budget at his disposal—about $7.2 million a year—to Hamas, the terror organization that runs Gaza.

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