Israeli intelligence records, which prompted many countries to withhold funds from the United Nations Relief and Works for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), include allegations that some of its employees were involved in kidnappings and killings during the October 7 attack that sparked the war in Gaza Strip.
The six-page dossier seen by Reuters includes allegations that about 190 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) employees, including teachers, acted as Hamas or Islamic Jihad fighters. The document contains the names and photos of 11 of them.
The Jerusalem Times website reported that Israeli intelligence documentation shows that an educational consultant employed by UNRWA helped kidnap an Israeli woman on October 7, the organization’s social worker distributed ammunition, and another carried projectiles for grenade launchers.
The documentation also shows that he is an agency employee UN transported the body of a killed soldier (Hamas had already used Israeli bodies as a bargaining chip in the past) and coordinated the transport of terrorists on the day of the attack on Israel. Another allegedly participated directly in the kibbutz massacre, where 97 people were murdered. The three received text messages directing them to specific attack points.
Intelligence data also shows that a UNRWA employee held a kidnapped Israeli hostage. In November, one of the freed hostages spoke about such a case – the agency then considered these reports to be “baseless accusations”.
Analyzes quoted by the Wall Street Journal show that 10 percent Palestinian UNRWA employees “have close links” with terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip.
Foreign Minister Israel Kac said that UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini should resign. – UNRWA employees participated in the massacre of October 7 – he emphasized.
Suspension of UNRWA funding
The data collected was deemed sufficiently reliable for the government to take action USA, and then the governments of a dozen other countries announced the suspension of UNRWA funding. Too European Commission stopped financing. The agency is calling for a change of this decision, claiming that without maintaining international support it will have to radically reduce its activities before February ends.
UNRWA announced on Friday that it had fired several employees over Israel’s accusations.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayeh accused Israel of a “premeditated political attack” against an agency he has long criticized. He also called for the restoration of aid funds.
Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: we are waiting for the result of the investigation into the alleged connections
The reports were commented on on social media Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “We are waiting for the result of the investigation into the alleged connections of UNRWA personnel with the massacre of October 7. Poland is verifying all information and supporting the UN in this regard. Necessary humanitarian aid for the civilian population remains the goal of the mission,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on the X platform.
On October 7, thousands of terrorists from the Gaza Strip invaded Israel, killing over 1,200 people, most of them civilians, committing acts of rape and sexual violence, and abducting over 240 people. During a temporary ceasefire in November, the ruling Hamas released 110 in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners. An estimated 132 hostages are still being held in the Gaza Strip.
What is UNRWA?
UNRWA is a UN agency established in 1949 to assist Palestinian refugees residing in the territory of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and the Palestinian Authority. It is the only UN agency in history created to deal exclusively with a single group of refugees, coming from one region of the world and one conflict.
All other refugees who have fled their homes due to all other conflicts that have been going on for 78 years on all continents are dealt with by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
UNRWA is one of the largest employers in the Gaza Strip, running, among others, network of schools and other centers. She has long been accused by Israel of being sympathetic to Hamas. Israel alleged that terrorist tunnels were being built under the agency’s schools and that teachers were taking part in anti-Israel indoctrination of Palestinian children. Administration so far Joe Biden she did not react to this criticism.
The UN agency’s facilities have been attacked by Israel many times during the current military operation. More than 100 UNRWA employees died as a result of these attacks.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/HAITHAM IMAD