The Israeli intelligence dossier alleges that a dozen employees of the United Nations agency were involved in the October 7 attack on Israel.
An Israeli intelligence document that prompted several countries to suspend funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) contains allegations that some staff members participated in kidnappings and killings during the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7.
The Israeli dossier alleges that some 190 UNRWA employees, including teachers, are also Hamas or Islamic Jihad fighters, the Reuters news agency reported.
Palestinian officials have accused Israel of falsifying information to tarnish UNRWA. The UN fired nine of the accused workers, condemned “alleged heinous acts” and launched investigation in the allegations.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres met with the world body’s head of internal investigations to ensure an investigation into the allegations “will be conducted quickly and as efficiently as possible,” a spokesperson said on Monday. – UN spokesperson.
Hamas launched a surprise attack in southern Israel on October 7, killing at least 1,139 people and capturing 240 others, according to Israeli figures.
Israel responded to the attack with a devastating bombardment, siege and ground invasion of Gaza. More than 26,600 people were killed in Israel’s attack on Gaza, according to Palestinian authorities, and large areas of the territory were reduced to rubble.
The Israeli document lists 12 people, their alleged roles in the October 7 attack, job descriptions and photos. The findings detailed in the paper could not be independently confirmed.
The filing indicates that of the 12 workers, nine were teachers and one was a social worker. Seven of the employees were accused of crossing the border into Israel on October 7. Among them, one was accused of having participated in a kidnapping, another of having contributed to the removal of the body of a dead soldier and three others of having participated in the attacks.
One of them was accused of arming himself with an anti-tank missile the night before the attack, while the document claimed another had taken photos of a hostage. Ten were listed as having links to Hamas and one to the Islamic Jihad militant group.
Two of the 12 people were killed, according to the document. The UN previously said one person was still being identified.
Suspension of funds
Allegations against UNRWA personnel have led several donor countries will freeze funds for the agency.
UNRWA provides crucial daily aid to the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza who are experiencing a terrible humanitarian catastrophe amid the Israeli attack. The agency said Monday it would not be able to continue its operations in Gaza and the wider region beyond the end of February if funding did not resume.
More than ten countries, including major donors the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, have suspended funding to the agency.
Some donor countries have said they will continue funding UNRWA, while others have urged donors to resume cooperation. Saudi Arabia urged the agency’s supporters to “assume their role in supporting humanitarian tasks for Palestinian refugees.” Lebanon called the suspension of funding a “historic mistake”, and Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani said UNRWA should not be punished for complaints against individual members of the staff.
Since the start of the war, most Palestinians in Gaza have depended on the agency’s programs for “pure survival”, including food and shelter, said UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini.
These allegations have inflamed long-standing tensions between Israel and UNRWA. Israel says Hamas uses the agency’s facilities to store weapons and launch attacks. UNRWA says it does not knowingly tolerate such behavior and has internal safeguards to prevent abuse and discipline any wrongdoing.
Even before the latest allegations, Lazzarini announced that he was ordering an external review of the agency’s operations and its safeguards.
Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said he had canceled a meeting Wednesday between Israeli officials and Lazzarini and called on the UNRWA chief to resign.