Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) of being infiltrated by the Hamas movement, and its schools teaching doctrines that destroy Israel. “October 7 Massacre” October)” (Al-Aqsa flood attack by Hamas, which killed 1,200 Israelis and kidnapped 240 to the Gaza Strip).
In an interview with the British talk TV channel, Netanyahu said: “We have an intelligence file. We discovered that 12 UNRWA staff were directly or indirectly involved in the October massacre. In an attempt to increase pressure on the agency, he added: “Its schools teach the doctrines of Israel's destruction and glorify terrorism.”
Netanyahu's attack on UNRWA came in the wake of a major Israeli attack on the agency, along with the disclosure of information about its staff's participation in the October 7 attack.
Israel provided the United States and European countries with information about the involvement of UNRWA staff in the October attack, and many countries cut off funding to the agency, putting it in jeopardy.
An UNRWA spokesman said on Monday that operations in the Gaza Strip and the region would not be able to continue after the end of February unless funding was resumed.
Some 11 countries, including the United States, Germany and Britain, have suspended funding to the agency, while the European Union has announced it will conduct an “urgent” audit of UNRWA's work.
US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told CNN on Monday that allegations of UNRWA staff participation in the October 7 attack “are serious and we take them seriously.”
European Commission spokesman Eric Mamar said on Monday: “We ask them (UNRWA) to agree to conduct an audit by independent experts selected by the European Commission.”
The fierce Israeli attack on UNRWA is the latest in a series of years-long incitement against the agency, its role, its staff and curriculum, during which Tel Aviv has worked to shut down the international agency. Corruption” and “linked to Hamas” and it “prolonged the conflict”.
The new intelligence file that Netanyahu talked about is Israel's strongest card yet.
Israeli officials, including Defense Minister Yoav Galant and Foreign Minister Israel Katz, launched a wide-ranging attack on UNRWA after it revealed its staff's involvement in the October 7 attack. It will not be “part of the post-war day in Gaza”.
On Monday, Finance Minister Bezalel Smodrich called for the evacuation of UNRWA and its staff and the restoration of settlements after the establishment of Israeli military rule in Gaza.
But the Palestinian Authority backed UNRWA and saw the Israeli attack as “politically orchestrated”.
Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh said on Monday: “This is a planned political attack by Israel. For some time, it has been fighting with UNRWA and the camps everywhere, and we have seen this in Gaza, Jenin, Dulkarm, Balata, Aghabat. Jabr, al-Fawar and Dehaysheh.
Shtayyeh expressed hope that the countries that had temporarily suspended their aid would withdraw the move because of the threat to UNRWA and the impeding implementation of the International Court of Justice ruling. The lives of those in need in Gaza.
UNRWA provides life-saving services to approximately 5.9 million Palestinian refugees in 58 camps across its five operational sectors, including Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. The agency's services include education, health care, relief, infrastructure and camp development, community support, microfinance and emergency response, including armed conflict.
In light of the current war, UNRWA's services in the Gaza Strip are of great and exceptional importance, with the displacement of some 2 million Gazans from their homes, the spread of death and hunger.
The Israeli revelation about the role of UNRWA staff in the October attack came weeks after the release of a “described as secret” plan drawn up by the Foreign Ministry to remove UNRWA from Gaza. Reduces its operations and transfers its tasks to a sector management company.
The New York Times published details of the work done by UNRWA staff during the October 7 attack. The newspaper attributed the details to a file submitted to the US government behind UNRWA's dismissal of 12 of its workers, and prompted several countries to freeze funding to the UN body over the weekend.
Agency workers took part in kidnapping an Israeli woman, carrying explosives and the body of a dead soldier, and participating in a bloody attack on a kibbutz, the report said.
Smuggling and Smuggling of Explosives
According to the report, a counselor at an UNRWA school in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza, is accused of working with his son to kidnap a woman from Israel, and a social worker from the Nusirat camp is accused of helping bring in the body of an Israeli. In addition to the soldier for Gaza, who distributed ammunition and coordinated vehicles on the day of the attack, a third employee participated in the attack on the kibbutz, in which 97 people were killed.
An intelligence file handed over by Israel details the names, details and positions of 12 UNRWA workers and confirms that 10 of the workers involved belong to the Hamas movement and another to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement.
According to the report, Israeli intelligence obtained information by monitoring the phones of 6 people, monitoring the phone calls of others involved in the attack, reading the text messages of 3 others and ordering them to arrive earlier at the assembly points. The attack is stored in his house, including a message ordering one of them to bring RPG missiles.
According to the report, 7 of the accused are teachers in UNRWA schools and two work in two different jobs in two schools. The other three were described as an employee, a social worker and a store manager.
The report said the US was unable to verify the details or identities of the accused.