Israel dismisses UN's 'unfounded' claims

Foreign Ministry dismisses UN's demand that employee arrested for assisting Hamas be released on the grounds of diplomatic immunity.

Nitsan Keidar ,

United Nations Headquarters
United Nations Headquarters
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The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem reacted on Thursday evening to the demand by the UN’s Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) that Israel release Waheed Al-Borsh, an UNDP worker who was arrested in July for assisting the Hamas terror organization.

In a letter sent earlier Thursday to Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon, the UN claimed that Borsh should receive diplomatic immunity.

"Israel rejects the argument raised by the United Nations, whereby a person who assists an internationally recognized terrorist organization such as Hamas enjoys immunity because of the very simple reason that those who support terror cannot hide behind the claim of immunity," the Foreign Ministry said.

The Foreign Ministry made clear that "during the past two weeks, the UN aid agency claimed that the contractor in questioned provided services to the organization and that they trust the Israeli authorities and their ability to reach the truth. Just yesterday a letter was suddenly received from the UN claiming immunity of the suspect. This is a new argument being reviewed by lawyers and appears unfounded."

“In any case, the immunity enjoyed by certain employees of UN agencies is related only to actions resulting from their carrying out of their duties. It is clear that immunity does grant anyone permission to carry out acts of terrorism. It is inconceivable that a man who helps a terrorist organization will enjoy immunity under the auspices of the United Nations,” the statement added.

Immediately following Borsh’s arrest, UNDP had said it was "greatly concerned by the allegation" and promised "a thorough internal review of the processes and circumstances surrounding the allegation".

Days later, it claimed Borsh had diverted tons of rubble on instructions from the Palestinian Authority (PA).



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