Powered by WebAds

Monday, August 02, 2010

Senior Hamas commander killed on Saturday was a UNRWA schoolteacher

A senior Hamas commander who was killed in an Israeli airstrike on Saturday was a schoolteacher in a UNRWA school in the Gaza Strip.
Senior Hamas commander Issa al-Batran was killed Saturday in an Israeli airstrike that followed a Grad rocket attack on the city of Ashkelon. While several news outlets reported details of Batran's past, including previous attempts on his life, they failed to note a major component of Batran's personal life: his day job as a United Nations-employed schoolteacher.

Batran taught at a UN school in Al-Bureij. According to the Bethlehem-based Maan news agency Batran worked in the school at least until January 2009, and possibly beyond that time.

His job as a schoolteacher was mentioned by Maan and other Arab news outlets in 2009, when several members of the Batran family were killed in an airstrike during the counterterror operation Cast Lead. At that time, his senior position in Hamas was not mentioned.

Hamas has vowed to avenge Batran's death.

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) has faced controversy in the past for its ties to Hamas. In 2004 UNRWA's then-Director Peter Hansen caused a stir when he told a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation journalist, “I am sure there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll. And I don’t see that as a crime.”
I'm sure Batran was a wonderful influence on these children's lives and that many of them will aspire to emulate him in death too.

What could go wrong?


Post a Comment

<< Home