Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon announced a new initiative aimed at “battling the diversion of humanitarian funds to the Hamas terrorists in Gaza.”
At a briefing in the UN, Ambassador Danon explained that Israeli intelligence indicates a troubling new trend of Hamas’s exploitation of humanitarian groups. “We are initiating today a diplomatic battle against the diversion of humanitarian organizations’ funding towards Hamas’s terror infrastructure,” said Ambassador Danon. “We will not relent until the UN and other aid organizations begin to track and follow every dollar that enters the Gaza Strip,” he continued.
During his briefing, Ambassador Danon displayed a flow-chart illustrating how Hamas is diverting international aid. Ambassador Danon announced that he had asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that the UN implement comprehensive oversight mechanisms to ensure an end of humanitarian funds reaching terrorist organizations.
In addition, Ambassador Danon stated that he had contacted the heads of international organizations operating in Gaza and similarly demanded that they introduce better internal oversight so as not allow Hamas to exploit the goodwill of the international community and its desire to assist Palestinian civilians.
Among the organizations Ambassador Danon contacted were: UNDP, World Vision, UNRWA, The Red Cross, USAID, AMIDEAST, Mercy Corps, International Orthodox Christian Charities, EU Humanitarian Aid and Development Department (ECHO), Germany’s international aid agency (GIZ) and the Norwegian Refugee Councils.
It was recently revealed that Hamas had infiltrated a humanitarian organization in Gaza, placed operatives in key positions and systemically diverted funds towards terror activities. Hamas spends $110 million annually to dig attack tunnels. Israeli intelligence has shown a direct relationship between the funds taken from the international organizations and their use by Hamas.
“The UN and other international organizations must put an immediate end to the exploitation of their funds and resources by Hamas,” Ambassador Danon explained further. “The international community cannot continue to believe that it is funding greenhouses, while its money is really going towards digging tunnels and purchasing weapons,” he continued.
Ambassador Danon’s announcement came as the annual donor conference for the Palestinian Authority met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. “Israel welcomes the contributions of the donor countries and places great importance on these efforts,” said Ambassador Danon.