Israel Uncovers Hamas Data Center Under Gaza’s UNRWA Headquarters

In a development that should surprise absolutely no-one, the IDF has found a Hamas data center underneath UNRWA’s Gaza headquarters.

Beneath the Gaza Strip headquarters of the controversial United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, known commonly as UNRWA, the Hamas terror group hid one of its most significant assets, the Israeli military has revealed.

The subterranean data center — complete with an electrical room, industrial battery power banks and living quarters for Hamas terrorists operating the computer servers — was built precisely under the location where Israel would not consider looking initially, let alone target in an airstrike.

The revelation of the server farm comes amid other accusations of UNRWA collusion with the Gaza-ruling terror group and the entanglement of the UN body that provides welfare and humanitarian services for Palestinian refugees from the 1948 and 1967 wars and their descendants.

Israel last month accused 12 staff with the UN Palestinian refugee agency of taking part in the October 7 massacre by Hamas-led terrorists, who killed 1,200 people and took 253 hostages in the murderous rampage.

Since the allegations became public late last month, UNRWA has seen many of its top donor countries announce funding freezes, leading to concerns that the agency could stop operating in Gaza and elsewhere in the Middle East within weeks.

At the time of the initial ground offensive in Gaza City, the military had not found or known much about the Hamas data center. But new intelligence, primarily emerging from the Shin Bet interrogations of captured terrorists, helped pinpoint where to dig.

There were about half a dozen rows of server cabinets, each with racks of computers for Hamas’s operations.

IDF officials believe Hamas used the server farm for intelligence gathering, data processing and communications. Hard drives and some of the computers were taken to Israel to be investigated by intelligence authorities before the tunnel system was demolished in a large explosion

At the UNRWA headquarters, Aharon said his forces found several caches of weapons belonging to Hamas when they raided and battled Hamas gunmen for the complex, although it was after the UN staff had evacuated.

“Grenades, rockets, launchers, explosives, a large amount of weapons that would put any Hamas company to shame,” he said.

The IDF also said that in some of the offices of UNRWA officials, troops found equipment and documents that indicated “that the same offices were also used by Hamas terrorists.”

“There is no doubt that UNRWA staff knew that [Hamas] was digging a massive tunnel beneath them,” Aharon said. “There’s a perimeter wall, a gate, cameras, at the gate they log who comes in and out. Whoever worked at UNRWA knew very well who was coming in, and who they were covering for.”

The IDF said the electrical cables leading from the UN building to the tunnel were providing power to the Hamas infrastructure belowground.

The UNRWA server room, unlike the Hamas one, appeared to be mostly empty. One server cabinet was placed outside the room, but it had been stripped of all the computers.

“They cleared out all the computers, all the DVRs (digital video recorder for surveillance cameras), cut [most of] the cables, this is the behavior of someone who has something to hide,” Aharon said.

“Someone who works at UNRWA, who is supposed to care for human rights, to care for the welfare of the population in Gaza, shouldn’t rush to disconnect all the DVRs, the cameras, cut all the wires and take all the computers. These are the actions of someone who knew the army was coming and wanted to hide the evidence,” he said.

And in another development that should surprise absolutely no-one, UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini denies knowing about it:

– UNRWA did not know what is under its headquarters in Gaza.

– UNRWA is made aware of reports through the media regarding a tunnel under the UNRWA Headquarters in Gaza.

– UNRWA staff left its headquarters in Gaza City on 12 October following the Israeli evacuation orders and as bombardment intensified in the area.

– We have not used that compound since we left it nor are we aware of any activity that may have taken place there.

– We understand, through media reporting, that the Israeli Army has deployed troops within the UNRWA Headquarters in Gaza City.

– We are therefore unable to confirm or otherwise comment on these reports. – In times of “no active conflict” UNRWA inspects inside its premises every quarter, the last inspection for the UNRWA Gaza premises was completed in September 2023.

– UNRWA is a Human development and humanitarian organisation that does not have the military and security expertise nor the capacity to undertake military inspections of what is or might be under its premises.

– In the past, whenever suspicious cavity was found close to or under UNRWA premises, protest letters were promptly filed to parties to the conflict, including both the de facto authorities in Gaza (Hamas) and the Israeli authorities. The matter was consistently reported in annual reports presented to the General Assembly and made public.

– These recent media reports merit an independent inquiry that is currently not possible to undertake given Gaza is an active war zone.

– The Israeli Authorities have not informed UNRWA officially about the alleged tunnel.

Of course they knew about it. Besides what the Times of Israel mentioned about “a perimeter wall, a gate, cameras, at the gate they log who comes in and out” – meaning “Whoever worked at UNRWA knew very well who was coming in, and who they were covering for,” Lazzarini admits that in the past there was at least one “suspicious cavity” found “close to or under UNRWA premises.” And their response was to spring in to action and …. file protest letters. Yes, seriously.

They should have also noticed a drastically increased electric bill (of thousands of dollars of electricity per month). According to my friend Eric, who has had a long career in IT and built data centers. eight server racks consume a lot of electricity and need a lot of air-conditioning to keep them from melting down. Then factor in the battery backup systems and inverters needed to convert the backup DC battery power to AC power. All the more so when located in a hot and humid underground bunker.

So yeah, UNRWA knew:

Lazzarini needs to resign and UNRWA needs to be disbanded. Enough is enough.

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