An effort to declare UNRWA a terrorist organization is being led by the Shurat HaDin Legal Center, which represents dozens of victims of the October 7 massacre.
Shurat HaDin’s initiative targets the Ministry of Defense. The organization says there is a strong legal basis for such a designation. Their opinion, composed of arguments extending over eight pages, was submitted to Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. If Gallant accepted the proposal, he could exercise his authority to declare UNRWA a terrorist organization, but he would be subject to the security advisory services of the Shin Bet.
Law Center President, attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, commented: “It is now clear to everyone that UNRWA has opened its doors to Hamas terrorists in an unprecedented way. Under the guise of a humanitarian organization that perpetuates a false and dangerous historical narrative, they themselves have become the central headquarters of a terrorist organization, some of whose employees have murdered innocent Jews with their own hands.”
The current initiative follows the IDF’s recent revelation of the existence of a Hamas command center located in the Hamas tunnels beneath the headquarters of UNRWA, which operates on behalf of the UN in the Strip. from Gaza.
Darshan-Leitner continued: “UNRWA is no longer a humanitarian agency, it has become a jihadist group in its own right. This provides all the grounds and legal evidence for the Minister of Defense to declare them a terrorist organization. This designation is a necessity of the moment in order to prevent future victims of terrorist violence and accelerate the collapse of Hamas’ power in the Gaza Strip. »
Shurat HaDin’s main goal, according to its website, is to fight terrorism and safeguard the rights of Jews around the world. Based in Tel Aviv, the legal center fights boycott, divestment and sanctions initiatives and challenges those who seek to delegitimize the Jewish state.
UNRWA was established in 1949 as the United Nations agency charged with assisting Arabs displaced during Israel’s War of Independence. It has since extended refugee status to descendants of displaced people, allowing these families to claim refugee status for 75 years.
While initially serving around 750,000 refugees, the organization now supports nearly six million.
Shurat HaDin’s Past Legal Actions
After October 7, the organization launched an initiative to establish a legal war room to coordinate legal efforts around the world, both to defend Israel and to pursue legal action against Hamas and its supporters.
In the past, the Law Center filed a formal complaint against the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for biased and unethical conduct towards the State of Israel. They also manage civil actions against Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the PLO, the Palestinian Authority and other non-state actors.
The revelation, led by the Shin Bet, that IDF soldiers had discovered a tunnel near an UNRWA school, sparked the latest trial.
The shaft led to an underground tunnel that served as an important base for Hamas military intelligence and passed beneath UNRWA’s central headquarters in the Gaza Strip. Numerous weapons were found inside the building’s offices, including rifles, ammunition, grenades and explosives.
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