October 7 attack: Several UNRWA staff fired on suspicion of involvement in Hamas attack

The UN Palestinian relief agency UNRWA wants to examine the possible involvement of several of its employees in the Hamas massacre in Israel.

October 7 attack: Several UNRWA staff fired on suspicion of involvement in Hamas attack

The UN Palestinian relief agency UNRWA wants to examine the possible involvement of several of its employees in the Hamas massacre in Israel. “I have taken the decision to immediately terminate the contracts of these employees and launch an investigation to immediately find out the truth,” UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said, according to a statement from the UN agency released on Friday. They are “shocking allegations.” Israel has provided UNRWA with information about the alleged involvement of several employees. “Any UNRWA staff involved in terrorist attacks will be held accountable, including through criminal prosecution.”

The United States is extremely concerned, the US State Department said. The provision of additional funds for UNRWA has therefore been temporarily suspended, it said. The allegations are being examined in the meantime. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday about the need to investigate the matter thoroughly and quickly. The statement from the US State Department mentioned allegations against twelve UNRWA employees.

Guterres said he was appalled by the news that several UNRWA employees could be involved in the terrorist attacks in Israel. He also threatened those affected with immediate dismissal and criminal consequences if the investigation revealed their involvement in the attacks.

“Anyone who betrays the core values ​​of the United Nations also betrays those we serve in Gaza, throughout the region and elsewhere in the world,” Lazzarini continued. More than two million people in the Gaza Strip have been in need of aid since the war began. Lazzarini did not say how employees might have been involved in the terrorist attack on Israel.

According to the UNRWA Commissioner General, the UN relief agency strongly condemns the "heinous attacks of October 7th" and calls for the release of all hostages kidnapped from Israel.

In the devastating attack, terrorists from Hamas and other extremist Palestinian groups in Israel murdered more than 1,200 people. Israel responded with massive air strikes and a ground offensive. According to the Hamas-controlled health authority, more than 26,000 people were killed. In view of the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the sealed-off coastal area, Israel is under increasing international pressure.

According to its own information, the federal government supported the UN relief organization with more than 200 million euros in 2023. In November last year, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock announced an increase in aid for UNRWA, among others, due to the suffering of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip. Other EU states are also among the donors.

NEXT NEWS