The United Nations organization for Palestinian refugees has fired a dozen staffers over claims they took part in the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks on Israel, the agency said Friday.
“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,” Philippe Lazzarini, the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), said in a statement.
“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.”
The U.S. immediately suspended funding to the agency in the wake of the allegations surfacing, the State Department said Friday.
“The United States is extremely troubled by the allegations that 12 UNRWA employees may have been involved in the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel,” the department’s statement said.
“Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on January 25 to emphasize the necessity of a thorough and swift investigation of this matter.”
The funding pause marks a significant reversal from the Biden administration’s past support for UNRWA.Soon after taking office, the Biden administration resumed funding to the agency after it was cut off during Donald Trump’s presidency.
Blinken had only just visited UNRWA’s offices in Jordan a month ago where he praised the agency’s work in Gaza and lamented the deaths of dozens of its employees in the conflict.
With Post wires