Close this search box.

October 7 Victims File $1 Billion Lawsuit Against UNWRA

Over 100 victims of the October 7th massacre filed a lawsuit on Monday in a New York federal court against the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), alleging that its employees were responsible for Hamas atrocities including genocide, crimes against humanity, torture and rape.

The lawsuit names six former and present UNRWA leaders, including Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini. “Hamas did not carry out these atrocities without assistance. It was aided and abetted by, among others, the above-named defendants who are current or former senior officials [at UNRWA] and UNRWA itself who collectively spent over a decade prior to the October 7 attack helping Hamas build up the terror infrastructure and personnel that were necessary to carry out the attack.”

The lawsuit added that UNRWA was “warned repeatedly that their policies were providing assistance to Hamas. In the face of those warnings, defendants continued those very policies.”

“The findings in this lawsuit demonstrate that UNRWA was aware of and actively participated in the diversion of funds earmarked to support the people of Gaza into channels that ensured those funds were used for terrorism and in violation of international law,” said Bijan Amini, one of the lead lawyers in the case.

“UNRWA’s insistence that over a billion dollars in Gaza aid be distributed in U.S. cash that locals could not spend without going through Hamas moneychangers is one of the most damning pieces of new evidence presented in this case.”

Instead of making aid payments in the local currency of Israeli shekels, UNRWA insisted on making aid payments in US dollars – a currency that the residents of Gaza could not use. This method was only used in Gaza, with aid to the Shomron, Jordan and other UN refugee programs provided in the local currency. Along with the cost and risk of transporting $20 million a month in cash to the Strip, this program required aid recipients to pay Hamas money changers 10-20% commissions to convert their dollars into shekels.

“This payment scheme reduced the real value of aid to Gaza residents by $2-4 million per month and increased Hamas’s monthly revenue by that amount. Perhaps more significantly, it ensured a reliable supply of U.S. dollar currency into Hamas’s control each month, which was necessary to pay smugglers and arms dealers who do not accept shekels as payment,” the lawsuit stated.

Two of the plaintiffs are Gadi and Reuma Kedem, whose daughter, son-in-law, and three grandchildren were murdered by Hamas.

Tamar, Yonatan, Shachar, Arbel & Omer, H”YD

“There is no pain in the world that compares to burying your children and grandchildren who were murdered and suffocated in their own home,” said Gadi and Reuma Kadem in a statement. “All that is left is to fight to hold those responsible for strengthening Hamas to account. UNRWA strengthened Hamas and transferred funds and financed the murders, acting as a full partner in the growth of Hamas terrorists. UNRWA and its directors are fully complicit in the murder of my children and family.”

Released hostage Ditza Heiman, 84, was abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz and held in Gaza by a UNWRA teacher. A father of ten, he held her alone in his mouse-infested attic and at times, brought her UNWRA rations.

Heiman stated: “The fact that Hamas controlled Gaza was not an excuse for UNRWA to hire and fund terrorists, but instead should have ensured UNRWA took extra precautions. UNRWA knew it was hiring terrorists and that its funds and facilities were being used for violence, but UNRWA’s complicity in paying and empowering terrorists to teach and radicalize a generation of Gaza’s children was perhaps even more evil and tragic.”

The lawsuit was filed by the Chicago based law firm MM-Law LLC and New York firm Amini LLC.

“Plaintiffs understand that there are many politically charged controversies swirling around the October 7 attack and its aftermath,” the lawsuit says. “Plaintiffs do not come to this court seeking a forum to air political grievances but as ordinary tort for claimants seeking monetary compensation for their inquiries from parties who are liable for those injuries on traditional tort principles.”

According to some of the allegations in the lawsuit, UNRWA facilitated the construction of Hamas command and control centers, attack tunnels and underground bunkers under the agency’s headquarters, UNRWA schools, clinics and offices. Also, UNWRA allowed the establishment of weapons storage and deployment centers at its headquarters, schools, medical clinics, offices, warehouses and other facilities. In addition, the agency allowed the installation of rocket launching platforms and firing positions for terrorists inside and/or near schools, clinics and offices of UNWRA – in violation of international humanitarian law.

The lawsuit also claims, among other things, that UNWRA continues to provide substantial aid to Hamas despite public concern and objections from within the UN system; UNWRA staff are and were members of Hamas and participated, as stated, in the October 7, 2023 attacks; agency staff held and tortured hostages abducted in the October 7 attack; the agency knowingly and intentionally employed Hamas members as management and staff of the agency; senior Hamas operatives held influential positions in UNWRA, and Hamas controls the UNWRA staff union in Gaza.

The UNWRA also chose to use textbooks and study programs approved by Hamas, which contained incitement and indoctrination of Palestinian children to support and participate in the culture of the Hamas jihadist death, including instilling the goal and desire to participate in genocide by turning them into suicide terrorists instead of using textbooks that conform to the principles and requirements of the United Nations.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

3 Responses

  1. Problem is if this does go to settlement, it’s the us tax payers who will likely foot the bill. No UN employees will suffer.

  2. Nowayjose: it will discredit the organisation!

    £1b far too little; £1m for every victim civil or soldier, compensation to all injured and those who lost their homes and livelihood etc. etc.

  3. I am skeptical if a United Nations agency is subject to the jurisdiction of an American court. Israel (or the United States) could sue them in the world court, but that forum is dominated by those who are hostile to Israel.

    The United States could cut off funding for the United Nations or even threaten to withdraw from the United Nations, which some Republicans have been suggesting (even pre-Trump), and the United States and like-minded countries could create an alternative refugee assistance agency.

Leave a Reply

Popular Posts