UN denies claims Hamas captured ambulances

IDF sources had said vehicles were captured by terror group immediately after transfer via Kerem Shalom.

Hamas gunmen truck 248.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Hamas gunmen truck 248.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) on Thursday flatly denied accusations by anonymous IDF sources that three ambulances that were transferred to the organization some two weeks ago were seized by Hamas. According to an unnamed military source quoted by Army Radio, a short time after the ambulances arrived in Gaza via the Kerem Shalom border crossing, Hamas gunmen overpowered the drivers and took control of the vehicles. The IDF noted that UNRWA failed to report the incident. The source told Army Radio that the incident indicated a double standard toward Hamas, and UNRWA's discrimination concerning Israel. "When Israel deviates a little from procedures in Gaza, there is a massive world outcry, but when UNRWA, as an organization, doesn't even declare that Hamas is causing great damage in Gaza, the world doesn't even open its mouth," he said. Chris Gunness, UNRWA Spokesman, told The Jerusalem Post in response "this story is completely untrue. With every flip and every flop and every drip and every drop of misinformation, the credibility of these un-named sources is diminished to the point where it is astonishing that any journalist believes a syllable they say." Other sources quoted by the radio station stated that Hamas's control of Gaza was causing UNRWA great distress, and that the agency's director-general had recently received death threats, reportedly prompting him to flee the Strip. To this Gunness responded: "The assertion that UNRWA's Gaza Director, John Ging, fled Gaza because of death threats from Hamas is also false. This story has been denied by UN officials at all levels, including the Secretary General himself, who issued a firm denial through his Spokespersons' Office as soon as the story appeared." In February, UNRWA suspended humanitarian aid deliveries to the Gaza Strip after Hamas stole supplies it had transferred to the Palestinian territory. The agency resumed the deliveries days later though after Hamas acceded to its demand to return the 200 tons of goods, including blankets, flour and rice.