UN Organization Dismisses Employees for Suspected Participation in October 7 Israel Assaults

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UN Agency Dismisses Employees, Allegedly Involved in Hamas Attack

News come from the source of Reader Wall reports that the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, the UNRWA, declared on Friday that it had terminated several employees who stand accused by Israel of participating in a Hamas attack on October 7. This incident led to a temporary suspension of vital funding from the United States.

Addressing the Issue

Philippe Lazzarini, the head of the agency, assured that anyone within UNRWA involved in acts of terror will be held “accountable, including through criminal prosecution.” Subsequent to the dismissals, Antonio Guterres, the UN chief, committed to orchestrating an “urgent and comprehensive independent review of UNRWA.” The information was confirmed by his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric.

USA’s Response

Following this, the US State Department announced a “temporary pause in additional funding” to UNRWA as the allegations are investigated, as well as the UN’s action to address these matters. According to them, “twelve employees may have been involved”.

Israel’s Point of View

Israel’s foreign ministry expressed on Friday, their expectation for a swift investigation into the involvement of UNRWA employees in the October 7 terror attack. Gilad Erdan, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, claimed the dismissals confirmed long-standing accusations that “UNRWA employees are collaborators of the terrorist organization Hamas.”

Hostilities Intensify

The relationship between Israel and UNRWA further declined recently, when a shelter for displaced persons in Khan Yunis, the main city of southern Gaza, was struck by tank shelling, as stated by the UN agency. It mentioned that a large number of displaced persons had registered at the shelter and the shelling on Wednesday claimed thirteen lives.

Facing queries about the incident, the Israeli army proposed “a thorough review of the operations of the forces in the area is underway,” adding the possibility of the strike being a “result of Hamas fire” is under investigation.

Accusations and Warnings

In response to the bombardment, Lazzarini criticized the incident as a “blatant disregard of basic rules of war”. Considering the compound is clearly identified as a UN facility with its coordinates shared with Israeli authorities, this seems to hold some weight.

A spokesperson from UNRWA confirmed refugees’ claims, stating that the army had given them until 5:00 PM (1500 GMT) on Friday to evacuate.

Funding Challenges

UNRWA has been contending with funding issues in recent years. This was exacerbated in 2018 when former US President Donald Trump withdrew support from the agency, labeling it “irredeemably flawed” and backing Israeli criticisms of the agency which was created a year after Israel in 1949.

However, the administration of US President Joe Biden has restored the support, contributing an admirable $340 million in 2022, making it UNRWA’s largest donor.

The Devastation of the October 7 Attack

The extreme attack by Hamas on October 7, resulted in a horrifying number of around 1,140 deaths in Israel, with the majority being civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures. Militants also captured roughly 250 hostages, of which Israel believes about 132 remain in Gaza, including the bodies of at least 28 deceased captives.

Since then, approximately 26,083 Palestinians, of which around 70 percent are women, young children, and adolescents, have tragically lost their lives in Israeli bombardments and ground offenses in the Gaza Strip, as stated by the Hamas government’s health ministry.

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