In Brief: LFI director criticises Hamas threats against UNRWA

Iron Dome intercepts rockets from Gaza. Credit: Nehemia Gershuni,, CC-BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Labour Friends of Israel director Michael Rubin last week condemned the “shocking” threats made by Hamas against staff working in Gaza for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

Rubin’s comments came as it emerged that staff, including UNRWA’s director of operations Matthias Schamale, had been ordered to leave Gaza after describing Israeli strikes during the recent conflict as having had “huge sophistication”.

Schamale also told Israeli television that IDF military strikes did not “with some exceptions” target civilians, but that the “viciousness and ferocity” of the attacks in Gaza were “heavily felt”.

Earlier last week, UNRWA also condemned “the existence and potential use by Palestinian armed groups” of a tunnel found underneath a school in southern Gaza, as well as criticising an Israeli airstrike on the building.

Hamas rebuked Schamale’s comments and ordered him to leave Gaza. They also refused to guarantee the safety of other UNRWA staff in the area.

“It’s shocking that UNRWA staff have had to leave Gaza due to threats to their safety,” Rubin told the Jewish News.

“Hamas being unable to guarantee the security of humanitarian staff, whilst simultaneously constructing terror tunnels under UNRWA schools tells you everything about the terror group’s commitment to the wellbeing of the people of Gaza who deserve so much better.”