The United Nations Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has “neither uncovered nor received” evidence that a staff member was elected to Hamas politburo in Gaza.
“Allegations have been circulating in conventional and social media networks about an UNRWA staff member being elected to political office in Gaza,” said UNRWA spokesperson Christopher Gunness in a press statement.
“As soon as the allegations came to UNRWA’s attention, the Agency undertook a preliminary investigation, including discussing the allegations with the staff member. Based on the due diligence carried out by the Agency to date, UNRWA has neither uncovered nor received evidence to contradict the staff member’s denial that he was elected to political office,” the statement read.
UNRWA casts doubt on allegation that one of its employees was elected to Hamas leadership https://t.co/T9CdVwnNza
— Matthias Schmale (@matzschmale) February 24, 2017
UNRWA said Sohail Al-Hindi has rejected the news about his name appearing among the winning list of the Hamas political bureau in Gaza, saying: “I have no relation whatsoever with the issue”.
Gunness stressed that “staff members are prohibited from engaging in any political activity which is inconsistent or might adversely reflect upon the independence and impartiality required by their status.”
“All UNRWA staff are regularly advised that holding of political party offices, membership on any political committee, acceptance or solicitation of any financial contributions for political purposes, initiation or signature of petitions involving political candidates or political issues, are all examples of what is regarded as improper conduct for Agency staff,” the statement added.
— UNRWA USA (@unrwausa) February 10, 2017
Gunness pledged, “if any new allegations come to light, we will look into them immediately and thoroughly.”
(PC, WAFA, Social Media)