Is UN a 'terrorist entity?' Israel releases video of Hamas militants


The Israeli military on Wednesday released drone video appearing to show Hamas militants at a Rafah-area compound of the U.N. Palestinian relief agency UNRWA, drawing an accusation that the U.N. is itself a “terrorist entity.”

“Terrorists were identified in the central logistics complex of the UNRA agency next to U.N. vehicles,” the Israeli military said in a statement. The building also had a large “U.N.” sign on its roof.

UNRWA, which said it was examining the footage, has repeatedly denied claims it cooperates with Hamas. Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters the men were there to protect aid distribution.

“The U.N. not only collaborates with terrorists, but its facilities in Gaza are terror compounds!” Gilan Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the U.N., wrote on social media. “Will Antonio Guterres, who is always so quick to condemn Israel, finally call out the organization he leads? The UN has become a weapon in the hands of terrorists!”

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Developments:

∎ Palestinians on Wednesday marked the 76th anniversary of Nakba Day− the Day of Catastrophe − when the Arab-Israeli war began that led to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians being driven from their homes in what is now Israel.

∎ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said he will present a controversial bill that seeks to conscript ultra-Orthodox Jews into the military. The issue has drawn protests from the ultra-Orthodox community, about 13% of Israel’s 10 million people.

∎ The European Union’s chief diplomat urged Israel to end its military operation in Rafah immediately. Josep Borrell said Israel must “refrain from further exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation.”

A funeral procession carries the coffin of James Kirby into St. Mary Redcliffe Church, on May 15, 2024 in Bristol, England. Kirby was one of seven World Central Kitchen workers killed when their marked vehicles were targeted by Israeli military strikes.

A funeral procession carries the coffin of James Kirby into St. Mary Redcliffe Church, on May 15, 2024 in Bristol, England. Kirby was one of seven World Central Kitchen workers killed when their marked vehicles were targeted by Israeli military strikes.

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Israeli ambassador accuses UN of becoming a ‘terrorist entity’

The UNRWA was set up to help Palestinian refugees displaced during the war that broke out around the time of the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. The agency currently has about 13,000 staffers in Gaza, the overwhelming majority of them Palestinian. The Israelis claim that hundreds of them function as “military operatives” for Hamas.

Abu Zuhri described the militants at the UNRWA building as a “police force tasked with securing aid centers against acts of theft and looting.” But Erdan, speaking on Army Radio, said “the U.N. has in part become a terrorist entity in itself because it cooperates with Hamas and covers for it.”

Blinken warns of possible ‘chaos’ in postwar Gaza

Israel needs a clear and concrete plan for the future of Gaza where it faces the potential for a power vaccum that could become filled by chaos, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday. Earlier this week, Blinken said Israel has not shown the U.S. its postwar plans for the battered enclave of more than 2 million people. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel will control Gaza after the war while the U.S. has pushed for a government led by a revamped version of the Palestinian Authority that now governs the West Bank.

Israel’s limited operation in Rafah has had a “negative impact” despite the Israeli government’s effort to improve humanitarian conditions in Gaza, Blinken said during a press conference in Kyiv. Israeli government spokesperson David Mence said in a statement that Israel will eliminate the four Hamas brigades in Rafah but not necessarily all Hamas militants in the city.

Contributing: Reuters

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Israeli war updates: Video shows Hamas militants at UN site





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