Israel rejects immunity for indicted UN engineer in Gaza

Israel is rejecting a United Nations request for diplomatic immunity for a Palestinian engineer who worked for the U.N. in the Gaza Strip and is accused of assisting the territory's Islamic militant Hamas rulers.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said Thursday that "Israel rejects the claim that a person assisting a terror organization recognized by the international community such as Hamas could enjoy immunity."

Israel arrested 38-year-old Waheed Borsh, who worked for the U.N. development agency for 13 years, on July 16 on suspicion of aiding Hamas. The government announced on Aug. 9 that he was indicted on charges of assisting the militant group.

Nachshon said the U.N. suddenly claimed in a letter Wednesday that Borsh is entitled to diplomatic immunity.