UNRWA evacuates workers to Israel amid death threats

The UN agency was forced to evacuate 10 of its top officials from Gaza to Israel amid death threats from the agency’s employees.

By: World Israel News Staff

The Palestinians’ dedicated agency UNRWA assisted 10 international senior officials in their escape from the Gaza Strip to Israel on Monday based on credible threats to their safety.

Israeli media outlet Ynet reported that UNRWA took these steps after officials received death threats following announcements related to major layoffs necessitated by the Trump administration’s massive aid cuts, which slashed millions of dollars from the agency’s coffers and officially ended American support for the UN body.

The harassment reportedly was perpetrated by the agency’s own disgruntled employees, with the officials spirited out of Gaza via the Erez Crossing, despite the fact that it was officially closed due to the Sukkot holiday.

While UNRWA’s deputy head is still in Gaza, Ynet reported that multiple sources suggested further evacuations may be required.

Later on Monday, UNRWA confirmed it had “temporarily withdraw[n]” members of its international staff from Gaza “following a series of worrying security incidents affecting its personnel in the strip,” Times of Israel reported.

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The US recently rescinded its $350 million annual contribution to UNRWA, based primarily on the Palestinians’ refusal to negotiate a peace agreement with Israel and allegations that the agency vastly inflates the number of Palestinian “refugees” it assists.

While other countries are scrambling to make up UNRWA’s budget deficit, the lack of funds forced the agency to cut 113 jobs and convert 584 staff positions. UNWRA’s Gaza employees responded to these moves with a strike on Monday in protest.

UNRWA has faced pervasive criticism for permitting a curriculum that promotes anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel in its classrooms and for assisting the Hamas terror group, which rules the Gaza Strip.