Letter from ACOM and THE INTERNATIONAL LEGAL FORUM to the President of the Spanish Government

1 st February, 2024
The Honorable Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón
Prime Minister of Spain
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
 
We write to you on behalf of our organizations, ACOM, the leading group in Spain devoted to combating antisemitism and promoting Spanish-Israel relations, and the International Legal Forum, an Israel-based global coalition of lawyers, combating antisemitism and terror in the international legal arena.


We wish to express our grave concern regarding Spain’s decision to continue funding UNRWA, notwithstanding the overwhelming and irrefutable evidence connecting the UNRWA organization and staff, to the October 7 th  attacks perpetrated by Hamas.
 
This past week, new intelligence reports, as detailed in WSJ, NY Times and other major publications, have brought to light the full extent to which UNRWA staff and employees were involved in carrying out, aiding and abetting, the mass atrocities of October 7 th , in which Hamas massacred over 1,200 people and continue to hold at least 136 individuals, including children, women and elderly, hostage.
 
According to these reports:

  • At least 13 UNRWA employees were implicated in the Oct. 7 attacks. Seven of those employees infiltrated Israel during the attack, and four were involved in abducting Israelis.
  • 10% of UNRWA’s Gaza staff, some 1,200 employees, have direct links to Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups.
  • UNRWA employees helped coordinate logistics for Oct 7, including procuring weapons.
  • Some 3,000 UNRWA ‘teachers’ in Gaza cheered and celebrated the terrorist attacks in a Telegram group, sharing photos and video footage of the massacres and praying for the terrorists’ success and Israel’s destruction, while in the same conversation asking when their UNRWA salaries would be paid.
  • Some Israeli hostages released from Gaza have testified that they were held in captivity separately by UNRWA workers, sometimes in their homes.
  • UNRWA has repeatedly turned a blind eye, as Hamas has continued to use UNRWA facilities, including schools, for weapons storage and launching pads. 

None of the over 10,000 employees UNRWA has in Gaza raised an alert about the digging of hundreds of kilometers of tunnels under the agency’s own schools and hospitals, to be used for terrorist purposes against Israel and endangering the lives of Palestinian civilians. Some of those tunnels are believed t be also holding Israeli hostages captive for the last 115 days.

In addition, it has been well established that UNRWA has a long history of promoting antisemitic material in textbooks and employing people connected to terror groups like Hamas, or which glorify Nazism. This has been documented in and condemned by the US Congress and EU Parliaments.
 
In response to these alarming allegations, which US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called “highly, highly credible” and “deeply troubling”, at least 20 countries have suspended funding to UNRWA, including U.S., Italy, Germany, UK, France, Netherlands, Sweden and many other nations from Europe. As a matter of fact, the European Commission has also suspended financial support to the agency and announced a comprehensive independent investigation. 
 
Yet inexplicably, in spite of the growing concerns since October 7th, Spain announced in December it would provide an additional 10 million Euros to UNRWA. And despite the overwhelming and indisputable evidence connecting UNRWA to the Hamas recently shared with your government, you refuse to revise your position (unlike other regional donors from Spain, such as the Valencia regional government).
 
Fact of the matter is, UNRWA today has become an indistinguishable and inseparable arm of Hamas. This is no longer debatable. Nor is it merely a ‘few rotten apples’. Rather, the entire organization is rotten to the core and has become a systematic incubator of hate, incitement and terror. 
 
In increasing your aid to UNRWA, Spain is both rewarding the murderers, butcherers and rapists of October 7 th , and only underwriting further acts of terror. This is simply inexcusable!
 
That the people of Gaza need assistance is not in dispute, but UNRWA is part of the problem, not the solution. There are ample other vehicles and credible organizations through which aid can be provided, through organizations that are not themselves compromised by terror.
 
Accordingly, we call on the Spanish government to do the right thing and join the community of democratic nations, who have suspended aid to UNRWA, and not reward terror.


Yours sincerely,

Angel Mas – President, ACOM

Arsen Ostrovsky – Attorney & CEO, The International Legal Forum