UN agency terminates staff linked to Hamas terror attacks on Israel

The Israeli authorities had provided UNRWA with information regarding the employees' purported participation in the attacks, prompting an immediate termination of their contracts and the initiation of an investigation. The U.S. State Department responded to these allegations by suspending funding to UNRWA, a move indicative of the seriousness with which the U.S. is treating these claims.

UN agency terminates staff linked to Hamas terror attacks on Israel
AP Photo/Hassan Eslaiah, File
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The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), responsible for aiding Palestinian refugees, has dismissed a dozen employees over their alleged involvement in the Hamas terror attacks on Israel on October 7.

UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini announced the decision, emphasizing the importance of maintaining the agency's capacity to deliver humanitarian assistance, the New York Post reported

“The Israeli authorities have provided UNRWA with information about the alleged involvement of several UNRWA employees in the horrific attacks on Israel on October 7,” said Lazzarini in a statement. “To protect the agency’s ability to deliver humanitarian assistance, I have taken the decision to immediately terminate the contracts of these staff members and launch an investigation in order to establish the truth without delay.”

The Israeli authorities had provided UNRWA with information regarding the employees' purported participation in the attacks, prompting an immediate termination of their contracts and the initiation of an investigation. The U.S. State Department responded to these allegations by suspending funding to UNRWA, a move indicative of the seriousness with which the U.S. is treating these claims.

“The United States is extremely troubled by the allegations that 12 UNRWA employees may have been involved in the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel,” the State Department said. 

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken personally communicated with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to underline the urgency of the matter and called for an investigation. 

This suspension of funding marks a significant shift in the Biden administration's stance towards UNRWA. The administration had previously resumed support for the agency after funding was halted during the Trump presidency. Blinken's recent visit to UNRWA's offices in Jordan, where he commended the agency's efforts in Gaza and mourned the loss of its employees in the conflict, highlights the complexity of the situation.

The actions taken by UNRWA and the subsequent response from the U.S. State Department reflect the international community's commitment to addressing concerns of terrorism and ensuring the integrity of humanitarian organizations. The unfolding situation underscores the challenges faced in conflict zones and the delicate balance required in delivering aid while maintaining security and accountability.

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