The main U.N. agency in Gaza said it has long investigated claims of links, firing several employees over the years. Israel says it is a compromised organization too weak to protect itself.
When the United Nations launched an investigation a decade ago into whether a handful of its employees in Gaza were members of Hamas, it was not long before a senior U.N. legal officer in the territory started receiving death threats.
First there were emails, sent from anonymous accounts, according to three senior U.N. officials based in Gaza at that time.
Then came a funeral bouquet, delivered to the main U.N. compound, labeled with the legal officer’s name.
Finally there was a live grenade, sent to the compound with its pin still inside, according to two of the officials.
The U.N. evacuated the legal officer, a British lawyer and former military officer, hurrying him to Jerusalem, the three people said.
Previously unreported episodes like this one, from October 2014, form part of the back story to the current crisis embroiling UNRWA, the U.N. relief group in Gaza now sheltering more than half of the enclave’s population.