Headline RoundupFebruary 12th, 2024

Israel Discovers Hamas Compound Beneath UN Agency HQ in Gaza

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Israel said it discovered a Hamas compound beneath the Gaza headquarters of the United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).

The Details: Reporters from The Wall Street Journal (Center bias) and other organizations accompanied the IDF on a trip to the compound. Per the Journal, Israel said it knew of the complex for years, but couldn’t target it because of the U.N. presence above. The UNRWA’s chief, however, said the organization did not know the Hamas compound.

For Context: In late January, Israeli intelligence accused several UNRWA staffers of participating in Hamas’ October 7 terror attack. The UNRWA fired the staffers in question, but still many Western nations, including the U.S., Canada, Germany, and Japan have halted funding to the agency. Israeli intelligence also believes 10% of the organization’s 13,000 employees are connected to Hamas.

Key Quotes: UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini wrote on X that the “UNRWA did not know what is under its headquarters in Gaza.” The UNRWA told the Journal the reports “merit an independent inquiry,” and that it “does not have the military and security expertise nor the capacity to undertake military inspections of what is or might be under its premises.” 

How The Media Covered It: Most mainstream media outlets covered Israel’s claim of discovery, but not the UNRWA’s disclaimer. Al Jazeera (Lean Left bias) appeared to do the opposite. The Guardian (Lean Left bias) which reported on Friday that the UNRWA staff members fired were done so without proper evidence, reported neither angle of the story.

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