Israel releases audio of UNRWA employees boasting of participating in Oct. 7 massacre, hostage-taking

Women protest march calling for the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza, in Tel Aviv, January 19, 2024. Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90.

by Yaakov Lappin

(JNS) — The Israel Defense Forces released two recordings of phone conversations on the evening of March 4 showing that teachers affiliated with the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees took part in the mass murder attacks in southern Israel on Oct. 7.

The first call recording is of a Hamas terrorist working as an Arabic teacher at an UNRWA school in Deir al-Balah, in central Gaza, describing how he broke into Israeli territory and stating that he is holding female Israeli hostages.

The teacher was named as Yusef Al Hawajara and is heard stating on a call, “We have female hostages, I captured one.”

During the call, Al Hawajara went on to say, “We will enter Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

He described the massacre of Israelis to his friend, saying, “They shot them in the eyes.”

The second recording features an additional terrorist, described by the Israel Defense Forces as Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist Mamduh Ahmed Alkali, an elementary-school teacher at an UNRWA school in Khan Yunis, in southern Gaza. The teacher is heard telling his family that he is inside Israeli territory.

“I’m inside, I’m inside with the Jews,” stated the voice of the UNRWA teacher in response to a man asking him on the phone where he was.

The IDF said that “terror organizations in the Gaza Strip routinely exploit international aid organizations for terror purposes.”

Four staff members associated with the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) confirmed as participating in the terrorist attacks in southern Israel perpetrated by Hamas and other Palestinians from Gaza on Oct. 7, 2023. Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

According to IDF intelligence assessments, more than 450 terrorists — most of them Hamas members — are also employed by UNRWA.

IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari stated that Hawajara was heard bragging about seizing an Israeli female hostage. “Sabayya means female captive, a ‘possession.’ Sabayya is exactly the same word used by ISIS to describe Yazidi women they captured and did horrific things to. I want you to hear the tone, how they brag, how they laugh. How they talk about women. How they call her a ‘noble horse’.” The other speaker in the call boasted of capturing a “noble horse” during the conversation.

“I am a father of two girls. When I hear this conversation, I tremble. It’s horrific,” said Hagari. “150 days ago, on Oct. 7, Hamas abducted and violated young women, young girls. From the testimonies of hostages who returned from captivity, we know the women and girls in Hamas captivity are in danger. Our mission to rescue these hostages from the ruthless terrorists is urgent. Hamas and ISIS follow the same barbaric ideology and employ the same barbaric methods,” he added.

UNRWA’s employment of hundreds of terrorists is “systematic,” said Hagari. “They receive salaries paid by the international community. Donations for humanitarian purposes, meant to benefit the people of Gaza, are funding mass murderers and rapists.”

The IDF has shared this and other information with “international partners, including the U.N.,” said the IDF spokesman. A global response is needed, he said.

Civilians in Gaza “are also suffering as a result of this war that Hamas started,” said Hagari. “Our war is against Hamas, not the people of Gaza. We acknowledge their suffering.”

Hezbollah activity on northern Israeli border

On March 3, the number of aid trucks entering the Gaza Strip from Israel was the highest since the start of the war, Hagari said. Israel puts no limits on the amount of humanitarian aid that can enter Gaza, he added, as it continues to dismantle Hamas and seeks to rescue its hostages — an estimated 134 are still being held captive, though not all are confirmed to be alive.

Meanwhile, in the north, the IDF said that following sirens that sounded in northern Israel regarding an aircraft infiltration, the Israeli Air Force’s Aerial Defense Array “successfully intercepted a suspicious aerial target that crossed from Lebanon into Israeli territory.”

It added that “over the past hours, numerous launches were identified crossing from Lebanon towards the area of Har Dov in northern Israel. The IDF struck the sources of the launches. Additionally, IDF fighter jets struck a number of Hezbollah military compounds in Southern Lebanon.”

Earlier on March 4, an anti-tank missile launched from Lebanon struck a plantation in Margaliot, a moshav in the Galilee panhandle, at around 11 a.m., killing a Thai worker and injuring nine other people, two of them seriously.