Palestinian UN workers in Gaza tell UNRWA Gaza director never to come back after he admits Israeli airstrikes were accurate and not aimed at civilians.
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
A workers’ group in Gaza representing Palestinians employed by the UN told the head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza and his deputy that they are no longer welcome, the Palestinian news website Al Watan Voice reported Wednesday.
The workers along with the Hamas terror group and other Palestinian organizations are furious with Matthias Schmale and his assistant David de Bold after Schmale told an Israeli television news station last week that IDF airstrikes in Gaza had been accurate and were not specifically targeting civilians.
“In light of the departure of Schmale and his deputy today from the Gaza Strip, our people will not allow him to return to the Strip as he has become an undesirable figure, nor to be at the head of the United Nations organization in the Strip,” the workers’ statement said.
When asked by Channel 12 News last week if he thought that Israel was taking care to hit only military targets, Schmale agreed.
“I’m not a military expert but I would not dispute that,” Schmale said. “I also have the impression that there is a huge sophistication in the way the Israeli military struck over the last 11 days.”
“Yes, they didn’t hit – with some exceptions – civilian targets, but the viciousness, ferocity of the strikes was heavily felt,” he said.
Those comments did not sit well at all with the terrorists who run Gaza who let the UN know they were angry at Schmale for telling the truth and spoiling their narrative of trying to blame Israel for the civilian deaths.
Schmale and de Bold were “recalled” to the UNRWA office in Jerusalem where their future is now uncertain since Hamas appears to be calling the shots.
With Schmale out of Gaza, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar summoned Schmale’s deputy Leni Stenseth and reprimanded her.
The Hamas website said Sinwar told Stenseth that Schmale’s comments had nothing to do with Hamas’s “historical, consistent and positive position on UNRWA” and that he blamed the comments on Schmale’s and de Bold’s personalities “and a reaction to their dangerous transgression of the role entrusted to them and the mandate granted to them, in serving Palestinian refugees.”
The kneejerk reaction by UNRWA officials to haul in Schamle was just another symptom of the organization’s dysfunction, said the head of the leading watchdog agency that monitors UN abuses.
“So UNRWA has effectively disciplined their Gaza chief Matthias Schmale – by pulling him from his post, and announcing a review of their response mechanism — because he said on TV that Israel did not target civilians, which angered Hamas. Shame on you, UNRWA,” tweeted Hillel Neuer, executive director of Geneva-based UN Watch.
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