News Release

Report: Israel Tortured False Confessions Out of UNRWA Staff


Reuters reports: “UNRWA report says Israel coerced some agency employees to falsely admit Hamas links.”

Gunness is a former spokesperson for UNRWA. He said today: “These allegations are shocking but unsurprising. Numerous UN reports attest to the fact that the Israelis have subjected Palestinians to these abhorrent violations on a very large scale for decades as a routine instrument of occupation. What’s new is that the Israelis are doing this to force confessions from UNRWA staff that they were involved in the October attack. This further undermines the original Israeli claims against UNRWA.” See his recent interviews on CBC News and Al Jazeera.

Canada and Sweden are restoring their funding of UNRWA. Nearly 50 members of the U.S. Congress have called for a restoration of the U.S. government funding of UNRWA.

In the suit brought by South Africa, The ICJ on Jan. 26 ordered: “Israel must take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to address the adverse conditions of life faced by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.” Hours later, Israel made its charges regarding UNRWA and the U.S. government and other donors then halted funding.

The U.S. similarly used tortured false confessions about Iraq and Al Qaeda working together that it presented to the UN, see piece from last year by Sam Husseini: “Twenty Years Ago: How Powell Used Tortured ‘Evidence’ for War Against Iraq.”

See B’Tselem page on torture by Israel.

Gunness was on the IPA news release “UK Channel 4 Finds Israeli Documents ‘Provide No Evidence’ in Charges Against UNRWA,” which contains background on the relief agency.

See Doctors Without Borders statement: “U.S. plan for temporary pier in Gaza a ‘glaring distraction.’