Israel frees UN employee who helped Hamas in Gaza

Israel frees United Nations employee who assisted Hamas after six-month imprisonment.


Shin Bet Chief Yoram Cohen
Shin Bet Chief Yoram Cohen

Waheed al-Bursh, an Arab engineer working for the United Nations Development Program in Gaza, was sentenced to time served for assisting Hamas in transporting 300 tons of rubble to a facility run by the terrorist group, the Arab Ma’an news agency reported Thursday.

Al-Bursh, who was detained by Israeli police in August, had been initially suspected of conspiring with Hamas, but was eventually convicted of unintentionally assisting the group. He was released on January 6, 2017, according to Ma'an.

In its latest monthly report published earlier this week, the Shabak reported just one attack from Gaza: the firing of an assault rifle on an Israeli army patrol guarding the border between the Hamas-run enclave and Israel. The overall number of terrorist attacks recorded in Israel last month was 98, compared to 95 the previous month.

Of the 98 attacks recorded in December, only 10 occurred in Jerusalem – a small increase from the nine attacks recorded in November. But in October, when 153 attacks were recorded nationally, approximately a third of them – or 48 incidents – were in Jerusalem.

The December tally was the third lowest figure on record since October 2015, when 620 attacks were recorded following a near tripling over the previous month. The lowest figure recorded in any month since then was in August 2016, when 93 incidents were reported.

For Jerusalem, November and December 2016 have been among the calmest months since the flare-up last year.

The Shabak reports do not include dozens of rock throwing incidents that occur every month, mainly in Judea and Samaria.

In September, October, and November of 2015, the Shin Bet recorded 223, 620, and 326 attacks, respectively, in what Israeli Prime Minister Binyanin Netanyahu called a “wave of terror.”