The allegations, which prompted nearly a dozen countries to suspend aid payments to UNRWA, have not been verified
The New York Times claimed on Sunday, citing the contents of a confidential Israeli government report, that several aid workers for the United Nations Palestinian Refugee Agency (UNRWA) helped kidnap Israelis and arm Hamas during its attack on October 7.
File Allegedly Details Israel's allegations regarding twelve UNRWA employees said to have been involved in the raid. Seven of them were teachers with the agency, two others worked in its schools in other capacities, while the other three were clerks, social workers, and a warehouse manager. Ten of the workers are also alleged to have been members of Hamas, whose civilian wing remains the legally elected government in Gaza despite being designated a terrorist group by West Jerusalem, while another was said to belong to Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
A school counselor from Khan Yunis supposedly worked with his son to kidnap an Israeli woman, while a social worker from Nuseirat reportedly transported the body of a dead Israeli soldier to Gaza and helped distribute vehicles and ammunition before the raid. Three other men allegedly received text messages summoning them to meeting points on October 7, one of whom was ordered to bring rocket-propelled grenades.
Two US officials told the New York Times that although they were briefed on the Israeli allegations, they had not verified the details. However, Washington was the first to cut funding to UNRWA on Friday, followed by Canada and more than a half-dozen other countries on Saturday.
Lacking any emergency cash reserves, UNRWA may have to reduce the vital services it provides to some 5 million Palestinians starting in February. The funding cuts come at a perilous time for Gazans, many of whom are already facing hunger and famine. More than 85% of them have been displaced from their homes since the start of the war, according to the United Nations.
The Israeli accusations came just days after the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to take measures to prevent genocide in Gaza, including allowing more humanitarian aid to reach the Strip's besieged residents. While the ruling noted that the court found that South Africa's genocide case against Israel had some merits, it stopped short of issuing an immediate ceasefire request.
Israel has been listening to information regarding UNRWA employees for weeks, and three diplomats whose names were not mentioned Tell Israel Hayom on Saturday, claiming that the government kept it quiet because He added: “There was an understanding in the Israeli political system that UNRWA must be preserved in Gaza, because it is the only body operating in Gaza, and without it, the chaos would be greater.”
But Foreign Minister Israel Katz on Saturday Named To be UNRWA “They have been replaced by agencies dedicated to real peace and development.” Demanding the resignation of its director, West Jerusalem previously claimed that the agency is a front for Hamas.
The United Nations launched an investigation into these allegations, and immediately dismissed employees suspected of carrying out terrorist activity, but Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Western countries not to punish all aid workers indiscriminately.