Israel Arrests UNDP Worker for Allegedly Assisting Hamas

Israel’s General Security Service (Shin Bet) and the Israel Police arrested a Palestinian employee of the United Nations in Gaza who is allegedly suspected of exploiting his position at the UN Development Program (UNDP) to provide material assistance to Hamas, it was cleared for publication on Tuesday, according to Israeli media.

Waheed Abdallah Borsh was arrested in July on suspicion of abusing his position at UN rehabilitation and aid organization to abet Hamas activities; case is the second of its kind in quick succession indicating abuse of aid organizations to the benefit of Hamas.

Waheed Abdallah Borsh , a 38 year old from Jabalia in northern Gaza, allegedly abused his position at the UNDP, which implements, among other things, rehabilitation and development projects for the Gaza population with a particular emphasis on restoring homes destroyed during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
Borsh, who was arrested on July 16, worked as an engineer in the UNDP since 2003 and was mainly responsible for the demolition of houses damaged during the armed conflict and the removal of waste from the demolition sites.

The Shin Bet investigation found that Borsh was instructed by a senior Hamas official to use his position at UNDP to extract maximum benefits for the organization.
According to the Shin Bet, Borsh confessed to the charges leveled against him. He was indicted on Tuesday at a civilian court in Be’er Sheva. Furthermore, he divulged the details of cases in which Hamas would flagrantly exploit the UNDP to its benefit.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry released a statament on the matter: “Israel updated the UN secretary-general’s office and the heads of the UNDP in New York on the arrest and the charges (against Borsh),” the statement read. “We expect the UN, and particularly the UN’s aid organizations, to unequivocally condemn Hamas for the exploitation of the aid mechanisms, and to take concrete action to ensure humanitarian aid reaches those who need it and not the heads of Hamas.”

The revelations come just days after it became public knowledge that the Shin Bet had arrested Mohammad El Halabi—a senior official in the international aid orgaization World Vision—who stands accused of siphoning off $7.2 million of humanitarian funding to Hamas. The incident disgraced World Vision causing Australia and Germany to suspend the charity’s activities.