Israel's General Security Service (Shin Bet) and the Israel Police arrested a Palestinian employee of the United Nations in Gaza who is suspected of exploiting his position at the UN Development Program (UNDP) to provide material assistance to Hamas, it was cleared for publication on Tuesday.
Waheed Abdallah Borsh , a 38 year old from Jabalia in northern Gaza, allegedly abused his position at the UNDP, which implements, among other things, rehabilitation and development projects for the Gaza population with a particular emphasis on restoring homes destroyed during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
Borsh, who was arrested on July 16, worked as an engineer in the UNDP since 2003 and was mainly responsible for the demolition of houses damaged during the armed conflict and the removal of waste from the demolition sites.
The Shin Bet investigation found that Borsh was instructed by a senior Hamas official to use his position at UNDP to extract maximum benefits for the terror organization.
The investigation revealed that Borsh carried out a number of different activities which benefited the terror organization. In addition to other abuses, in 2015 he helped build the marine docks for the military wing of Hamas in the northern Gaza Strip, using resources provided by UNDP.
It also emerged that in 2015, Borsh used the tasks entrusted to him to provide preferential rehabilitation efforts in areas in which Hamas officials resided.
According to the Shin Bet, Borsh confessed to the charges leveled against him. He was indicted on Tuesday at a civilian court in Be'er Sheva. Furthermore, he divulged the details of cases in which Hamas would flagrantly exploit the UNDP to its benefit. For example, when weapons or terror tunnels openings were discovered in homes being handled by the UNDP, Hamas would confiscate the weapons and take control of the sites.
Moreover, Borsh revealed details about Hamas tunnels and military bases which he had been exposed to during his work. One of the most important details provided by Borsh was that other Palestinians working in international aid organizations are secretly working for Hamas.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry released a statament on the matter: "Israel updated the UN secretary-general's office and the heads of the UNDP in New York on the arrest and the charges (against Borsh)," the statement read. "We expect the UN, and particularly the UN's aid organizations, to unequivocally condemn Hamas for the exploitation of the aid mechanisms, and to take concrete action to ensure humanitarian aid reaches those who need it and not the heads of Hamas."
The revelations come just days after it became public knowledge that the Shin Bet had arrested Mohammad El Halabi—a senior official in the international aid orgaization World Vision—who stands accused of siphoning off $7.2 million of humanitarian funding to Hamas. The incident disgraced World Vision causing Australia and Germany to suspend the charity's activities.