Israel’s UN Ambassador Rejects Request to Release Worker Accused of Aiding Hamas
JNS.org – Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon rejected a request by the UN for the release of an employee arrested in July for allegedly aiding the Hamas terror group in Gaza.
The UN Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) sent a letter to Danon requesting the release of Wahid Abdallah al Bursh, an engineer in the UN’s Development Program (UNDP), claiming that diplomatic immunity applies to all UN employees. UNDP also requested that a representative of the UN secretary-general be allowed to visit the man in jail.
Danon denied OLA’s request on Thursday, saying in a statement, “Israel rejects the claim that a person assisting a terrorist organization recognized by the international community, such as Hamas, could enjoy immunity.”
He told the Jerusalem Post, “Whoever assists a terrorist organization cannot hide behind a claim of immunity.” Earlier Danon also tweeted, “There’s no diplomatic immunity for terrorists!”
Bursh has been indicted in a Beersheba District Court for using his position as a UN worker to aid Hamas in their military efforts.
Israel’s security agency, the Shin Bet, said Bursh, 38, was recruited by Hamas in 2014 and helped build a naval commando port for Hamas military use in the Gaza Strip. The UN claimed that the Palestinian Authority directed the project, not Hamas.