Controversy Surrounds UNRWA Staff’s Role In Hamas Invasion

( – The UNITED NATIONS Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is a UN agency established in 1949 to provide relief to Jewish and Arab Palestine refugees after the 1948 conflict. They now employ over 30,000 mostly Palestinian workers, and have expanded their mission to include health care, education and social service to the people of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

In shocking news regarding the UNRWA, Friday January 26th Israel announced they have evidence that at least a dozen of the organization’s staff members in Gaza were involved in Hamas’s terrorist attack on Israel on October 7th. As a result of these allegations, at least ten governments cut off funding to the agency. Despite public denials of the allegations by representatives of UNRWA, the United Nations (U.N.) has fired nine of the 12 accused workers as well as publicly condemned the “abhorrent alleged acts” of any of the UNRWA staff.

The documents that Israel has shared detailing the alleged participation of some UNRWA workers in the October 7th attack suggest that 190 UNRWA workers were also Hamas or Islamic Jihad operatives. They say that 7 of the 12 they accused crossed into Israel on Oct. 7, and of those 2 kidnapped or assisted in kidnapping Israelis. Another 2 of those who were in Israel that day are accused of participating in raids on Iraeli communal farming villages. Middle East analyst Eitan Fischberger says that he found a chat group on Telegram comprised of UNRWA educators in Gaza where he says pro-Hamas content and support for their actions on October 7th is common.

During a press conference, spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-General, Stéphane Dujarric, said that the commissioner general of the UNRWA for Palestinian Refugees Philippe Lazzarini has promised to commission an independent review into the operations of the UNRWA. He also clarified that UNRWA operates in several countries where they are required to work with state authorities, which in the case of Palestine would be the Palestinian Authority, not Hamas. However, his remarks seemed vague as he stressed that wherever the UNRWA operates it must have operational contacts with any “de facto authorities” which some could interpret as Hamas in some areas.

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