…It is important that UNRWA address these allegations and take any appropriate corrective measures.”U.S. Department of State spokesperson, Matthew Miller, said after 12 UNRWA workers were accused of assisting in the October 7th attacks in Israel.
The Big Picture: 12 employees at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, a group that helps civilians in the Gaza Strip, face accusations of assisting in the October 7th attack on Israel. The UN secretary general, António Guterres, says that nine of the 12 have been fired and condemned the “abhorrent alleged acts.”
A dossier listing the names, jobs, and allegations against the employees was provided by Israel to the United States government. According to the New York Times, who reviewed the dossier, “The UNRWA workers have been accused of helping Hamas stage the attack that set off the war in Gaza, or of aiding it in the days after.” In response, the United States and several other nations including Britain, Australia, and Japan have paused some funding to UNRWA.
In a statement, Guterres said, “Any UN employee involved in acts of terror will be held accountable, including through criminal prosecution.” He then added, “Meanwhile, 2 million civilians in Gaza depend on critical aid from UNRWA for daily survival but UNRWA’s current funding will not allow it to meet all requirements to support them in February.” He called on countries who have suspended their funding to help “guarantee the continuity” of the UNRWA and reverse their suspension of funds.
Also to Note: The relationship between the United Nations and Israel has been strained. As civilian casualties in Gaza continues to rise, the UN’s International Court of Justice ordered Israel to “…do all it can to prevent death, destruction and any acts of genocide in Gaza…The ruling amounted to an overwhelming rebuke of Israel’s wartime conduct and added to mounting international pressure to halt the nearly 4-month-old offensive” (The Associated Press). Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded by calling accusations of genocide “false” and “outrageous.”
Details Emerge on U.N. Workers Accused of Aiding Hamas Raid (The New York Times)
Major Donors Pause Funding for U.N. Agency as Scandal Widens (The New York Times)
Statement by the Secretary-General – on UNRWA (United Nations)
by Sarah Pinkerton,