“It is inconceivable that a man aiding a terrorist organization be allowed to enjoy diplomatic immunity,” declared an Israeli official in response to UN attempts to pardon a Hamas activist.
Israel was enraged to learn Thursday that the United Nations is seeking to invoke diplomatic immunity for a Palestinian aid worker arrested on suspicion of aiding the Hamas terror organization, Israel Hayom reported.
Earlier this month, Shin Bet, Israel’s Security Agency, revealed that Waheed Borsh, working with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Gaza as an engineer since 2003, was arrested on July 16.
Borsh, 38, confessed to several cases of his involvement in aiding Hamas. During questioning, he disclosed information regarding cases in which Hamas “blatantly and aggressively” exploited UNDP humanitarian activities for its own purposes, the Shin Bet said.
‘Not an Isolated Case’
His was not “an isolated case,” Danny Danon, Israeli Ambassador to the U.N., pointed out at the time.
Indeed, a week earlier, for example, Hamas operative Mohammed El-Halabi infiltrated the World Vision humanitarian aid NGO in order to divert funds and other resources for use in Hamas’ efforts. The Shin Bet estimates that since 2010, about 60 percent of World Vision’s annual budget in Gaza was diverted to Hamas and its military wing the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades.
On Thursday, the U.N. Office of Legal Affairs sent a letter to Danon, demanding that Bursh be released on grounds of diplomatic immunity – a move sharply condemned by Jerusalem officials.
“The immunity given to some U.N. agency workers applies only to actions directly linked to their work,” one source explained. “Diplomatic immunity doesn’t grant anyone permission to become involved in terrorism. It is inconceivable that a man aiding a terrorist organization be allowed to enjoy diplomatic immunity.”
“Israel is a country that follows the rule of law. We will not grant immunity to terrorists seeking to harm Israelis,” Danon said after receiving the letter, adding that the U.N. stated several times that it had every faith Israeli authorities would conduct a fair and speedy investigation into the case.