The 18-second video taken from above – perhaps from a balcony or a window – has already gone viral on social media and those images have been severely condemned by Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for the UN Secretary General António Guterres , who reported that the organization is “shocked and deeply troubled” by the episode.
The car, the pictures show, was on a very busy road, which according to international media reports, including the BBC, is the waterfront of Tel Aviv. From the video, taken at night, it is clear that at least four people were aboard the white 4×4: the driver, one passenger in the front seat and two on the rear seat, or the UN official and a woman dressed in red . After a few moments, the car moves through the traffic.
In the video we do not see people’s faces, but from the license plate of the car it seems that it is a vehicle of the UNTSO, or the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, a UN peacekeeping body originally established in May 1948 to monitor the ceasefire when the establishment of the state of Israel was declared.
The UN has made it known that it is close to identifying the people involved, stressing that this behavior “goes against everything we support and have worked on in the fight against misconduct by United Nations staff”. The spokesman said that the ongoing investigation will have to investigate whether the alleged sexual act was consensual or whether it involved a payment. As is known, the UN follows strict directives against the unacceptable sexual behavior of its staff.
In recent years, in fact, there have been numerous cases in which United Nations staff has been accused of sexual misconduct: in 2019 alone there were 175 accusations of exploitation or abuse against staff members, recalls the BBC.
Of these accusations, 16 have been confirmed, 15 turned out to be false and all others are still under investigation.