US pauses funding as UNRWA staff fired for suspected role in Oct 7 attacks

The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said on Friday it had opened an investigation into several employees suspected of involvement in the October 7 attacks in Israel by Hamas and that it had severed ties with those staff members.

“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 Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA Commissioner-General.

“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.”

Lazzarini did not disclose the number of employees allegedly involved in the attacks, nor the nature of their alleged involvement. He said, however, that “any UNRWA employee who was involved in acts of terror” would be held accountable, including through criminal prosecution.

Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy accused UNRWA of announcing the news while the world’s attention was focused on the World Court ordering Israel to prevent acts of genocide against Palestinians and do more to help civilians in Gaza.


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