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Discrepancies Found in Israel's Claim of Intercepted UNRWA Workers' Calls Linked to Operation Al-Aqsa Flood

Wesam Abo Marq Wesam Abo Marq
14th March 2024
Discrepancies Found in Israel's Claim of Intercepted UNRWA Workers' Calls Linked to Operation Al-Aqsa Flood
The IOF released narrative has many discrepancies (X)

Israel's official account and the Israel Occupation Forces account, among other authoritative X accounts, claimed that over 450 UNRWA employees, including four identified individuals, are associated with military operations within terrorist groups in Gaza. These accounts released voice recordings purporting to be calls involving two UNRWA workers who were allegedly involved in the October 7 operation. Misbar’s team investigated the recordings and found multiple discrepancies. 

Israel Claims Over 450 UNRWA Employees Are Military Operatives in Gaza

Recently, Israel's official X account released two separate videos of call recordings of alleged UNRWA workers. The caption accompanying the videos states, "Breaking: incriminating evidence revealing the involvement of UNRWA teachers in the October 7th massacre."

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A screenshot of the Israel X account’s post.

The Israel Occupation Forces issued a statement by IOF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari on March 5, claiming that "Over 450 @UNRWA employees are military operatives in terror groups in Gaza... This is no mere coincidence, this is systematic. There is no claiming: 'we didn't know.'" The accompanying video included a call recording alleging to be from a UNRWA worker involved in Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.

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A screenshot of the IOF X account’s post.

Misbar Investigates Voice Recordings Released by Israel

Misbar's investigative team thoroughly scrutinized the two voice recordings and gathered several significant findings. Specifically, regarding the four individuals highlighted in the video presented by the Israeli military spokesperson, Daniel Hagari, Misbar's team delved into the backgrounds of three of the mentioned names.

The first individual, Yusef al-Hawajara, is 47 years old. Considering his age, it seems improbable that he would be part of the resistance and enter the Palestinian Occupied Territories on October 7. 

The other two individuals mentioned by Hagari, Bakr Mahmoud Abdallah Darwish and Ghassan Nabil Mohammad Sh'hadda El Jabari, are also of advanced age, 48 and 41, respectively. Given that the available videos of the October 7 operation depict relatively younger men crossing borders, it appears improbable that the two individuals participated in the events of October 7. 

Call Recordings Analysis Reveals Israeli Manipulation

Through the analysis of two recorded calls in the videos, Misbar's team has identified critical details suggesting the manipulation of call recordings by Israel. 

During the video featuring IOF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari on March 5, a significant moment occurs at the timestamp (2:23), where it becomes evident that Khaled, not Yusef, answered the phone call. This contradicts the claim implicating Yusef, the alleged UNRWA worker, in the October 7 incident. 

Speaker No. 1 greeted with "Hi, Abo Hassan," and the supposed 'Yusuf' responded, "Yes, I am Khaled!" This suggests that Khaled, rather than Yusef, took the call and identified himself as Khaled. However, upon searching for Khaled's identity, Misbar's team discovered that none of Yusef's brothers or sons go by the name Khaled, leading to skepticism about the authenticity of the call. 

The use of the term "Sabaya" at the timestamp (2:23) raises suspicions, as it is not commonly used by Gazan people. This may suggest a possible attempt by Israelis to draw a connection between Hamas and ISIS, as has been the case since the start of the war. 

In a previous blog post, Misbar's team demonstrated the significant distinctions between ISIS and Hamas. The blog also highlighted Israel's efforts to promote a narrative suggesting links between the two groups.

Peculiar voices and unclear audio, notably at specific points (2:30 and 2:28), lead to the possibility of potential voice fabrication. 

Discrepancies Uncovered Between the Two Israeli Videos

Upon examining the second video of the call recording released by the official Israel X account, featuring the fourth alleged UNRWA worker, our investigative team identified disparities in the family name of the fourth individual compared to Daniel Hagari's video. 

Hagari implicated four alleged UNRWA workers as terrorists, specifically mentioning Mamdouh Hussein Ahmad al-Qak. However, the Israeli account published the voice call with the speaker's photo, referring to him as Mamduh Hasin Ahmed Alkali. Not only is there a misspelling in the family name, but discrepancies extend to almost all the names mentioned.

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A screenshot shows discrepancies in the spelling of the individuals’ names between the two videos.

Similar misspellings were observed in Yusuf al-Hawajara's name. Upon further research, it was revealed that he is from al-Hawajri, not the al-Hawajra surname. These inconsistencies appear deliberate rather than random.

In addition, even if Mamdouh was present on the Gaza borders at that time, it does not necessarily implicate him as a Hamas fighter, as Israeli accounts suggest. Many Gazan civilians visited the area out of curiosity. The call does not provide evidence of guilt.

Lastly, the background noise in the call includes the sounds of ambulances. It is worth noting that ambulances usually do not venture deep into the occupied Palestinian lands to transport injuries. This observation suggests that Mamdouh was likely on the Gaza side of the border during the call.

Furthermore, Misbar's team reached out to two UNRWA managers from Gaza to verify the employment status of the mentioned individuals and confirm whether they are indeed UNRWA workers. No responses have been made until this report's publishing date.

UNRWA: Israel Pressures Some Employees to Falsely Declare Hamas Links

Since October 7, Israeli authorities have made baseless claims, claiming that the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees has ties to Hamas and that its staff were involved in the attacks.

These claims led 16 countries, including the United States, to pause $450 million in UNRWA funding, creating a crisis in its operations. Norway, continuing its financial support, mentioned that several countries reconsidering their funding pauses might resume payments soon.

UNRWA reported that some employees released into Gaza from Israeli detention claimed they were pressured by Israeli authorities to falsely state that the agency has links to Hamas and that its staff participated in the October 7 attacks.

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A screenshot of the Reuters article.

These claims were detailed in a February 2024 report by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which outlined mistreatment in Israeli detention, including physical beatings, waterboarding, and threats of harm to family members.

Israel Commences Genocide, Killing Over 31,000 Palestinians 

Israel has killed over 31,000 Palestinians, including at least 25 individuals succumbing to starvation, as reported by the enclave's Health Ministry. Approximately 80% of the population, or 1.9 million people, has been displaced, with some forced to move multiple times due to the southward Israeli military push, according to the U.N. Research conducted by the World Bank indicates that around 60% of Gaza's buildings have been damaged, with 45% of them destroyed, including essential infrastructure like schools, hospitals, bakeries, mosques, and thousands of homes.

In response to the dire humanitarian situation, a ship carrying 200 tons of food aid set sail from a port in Cyprus. The U.S. and its allies are establishing a maritime humanitarian corridor, aiming to provide relief to a population that aid groups warn is on the brink of famine.

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