Israeli FM decries ‘grossly erroneous’ UN data on Hamas war

Israeli FM decries ‘grossly erroneous’ UN data on Hamas war

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres listens during a Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, at U.N. headquarters in New York, April 18, 2024. Photo by Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images.

Israel’s foreign minister chided the head of the United Nations, expressing “extreme concern” over the global body’s “ongoing misreporting” of Israel’s war against Hamas.

Israel Katz, Jerusalem’s top diplomat, sent the letter, which was viewed by JNS, on Wednesday. Secretary-General António Guterres’s office confirmed receipt of it.

Katz said that the online informational humanitarian aid delivery dashboard published by UNRWA—the U.N.’s scandal-plagued Palestinian-only aid and social services agency—was “grossly erroneous” due to an underreporting of some 8,000 trucks since the start of the war, including 4,800 in May alone. 

Katz complained that the dashboard did not include deliveries from the Erez Crossing or the U.S.-constructed Gaza floating pier, and included only partial data from the Kerem Shalom Crossing.

In addition, at some point this week, the dashboard Katz referred to ceased to function, with no immediate explanation from the United Nations. Critics have pointed out significant flaws with the dashboard, including the labeling of food as non-food items and vice-versa.

In recent days, the dashboard indicated that a large percentage of trucks entering Gaza had been looted in transit.

Katz also referenced the controversial revisions last month by the U.N. Office of the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs of the fatality tolls in Gaza. The newer numbers, taken from Hamas’s reporting, showed an eye-popping decrease in the number of women and children killed.

Responding to an inquiry from JNS, a spokesman for Guterres blamed the “fog of war” for the inaccurate data, which had been used to castigate Israel in international courts of justice and public opinion.

It was later explained that the revisions were made to split the death tolls between “identified” and “unidentified” bodies, but the new data, like the earlier set, proved to be a mathematical impossibility

Katz referred to that incident as “the most egregious example” of the United Nations “disseminating misleading or false information,” which, he said, “raises serious questions about its neutrality” and “exacerbates the extreme distrust of Israel and its public towards the United Nations.”

Katz demanded the figures be corrected and an apology issued.

Farhan Haq, a spokesman for Guterres, responded to a question from JNS on the letter during a Thursday press briefing, saying that the secretary-general feels there are “a number of inaccuracies” in the allegations.

Haq said Guterres “had some information on that” and that his office “would be sharing that with our interlocutors.”

Katz visited the United Nations on March 11 to address an informal meeting of the Security Council, dealing with Hamas’s sexual crimes during the Oct. 7 massacre. Katz did not request a meeting with Guterres or any U.N. officials, according to Guterres’s office.

The foreign minister ripped Guterres in a March 23 tweet after Guterres, during a visit to the Egypt-Gaza border, publicly blamed Israel for a backlog of aid trucks. 

Katz responded that Guterres held Jerusalem responsible “without condemning in any way the Hamas-ISIS terrorists who plunder humanitarian aid, without condemning UNRWA that cooperates with terrorists—and without calling for the immediate, unconditional release of all Israeli hostages.”

Under Guterres’s leadership, the United Nations “has become an antisemitic and anti-Israeli body that shelters and emboldens terror,” Katz said.

Source: JNS