Israel accused of torturing agency staff for confessions

  • Post last modified:March 11, 2024
  • Reading time:5 mins read

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) has reported that Israel tortured its staff. It also reported, as of 9 March, that Israel has murdered 162 of its employees since the violence escalated on 7 October.

The UN agency delivers education, social services, healthcare, and refugee camps. 1.7 million Gazans rely on it. Most Palestinians in Gaza are refugees from elsewhere in Palestine.

That’s because Israel has colonised their nation since 1948 through displacement and mass slaughter. What was Palestine is now Israel in an ongoing grab of land and resources.

“Destroy UNRWA”

The UN employees said the Israeli military tortured them in order to manufacture allegations UNRWA staff members were involved in the 7 October attack. This included harsh beatings, waterboarding, and threats to family members.

It’s widely known that torture provides counterproductive information. That’s because people will eventually say anything to get it to stop. So you can create a false admission through it.

Indeed, Israel has given zero hard evidence that UNRWA employees were involved in the 7 October attack. Still, swathes of Western nations, including the UK and the US, cut what amounted to over half of UNRWA funding in late January.

But Israel has been trying to get rid of the UNRWA for years. Take 2017 when the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for it to be dismantled:

It is time UNRWA be dismantled

Or in January this year when former Israeli official Noga Arbell put it most bluntly.

She said in Israeli parliament that the UNRWA was “allowing terrorists to be born” by providing aid. In other words, she’s saying all Palestinians are terrorists. Arbell called for Israel to “destroy UNRWA”.

Torture and abuse of detainees

Abuse of Palestinian detainees has long been a feature of Israel’s apartheid. Save the Children reported that 86% of Palestinian children in Israeli detention receive beatings.

These children are detained under Israeli military law and in military courts while living under Israeli occupation. Israel convicts many of these Palestinian children without evidence.

Now the occupying power is torturing UN staff.

Israel is attempting to destroy UNRWA – a vital lifeline for the Palestinians. It knows it will be difficult to colonise Gaza with the UNRWA in the way. All nations should, at the very least, restore its funding.

Featured image via PBS NewsHour and TRT World

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