US, UK, Canada, others suspend UNRWA funding over participation in Oct 7 massacre

Israel has repeatedly accused UNRWA of fostering and being involved in terrorism.

By Sveta Listratov, TPS

The US and many other countries suspended funding for a UN agency supporting Palestinian refugees after it fired a number of employees accused of participating in Hamas’s October 7 attacks on Israel.

The firings came after Israel provided intelligence incriminating 12 UNRWA staffers of their participation, including using agency vehicles and facilities as 1,200 Israelis were massacred.

The firing of the 12 employees prompted the US, Canada, Britain, Australia, Italy and Finland to halt their funding.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz called on the UN to dismiss UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini and vowed to prevent the agency from having a role in post-war Gaza.

“In Gaza’s rebuilding, @UNRWA must be replaced with agencies dedicated to genuine peace and development,” Katz tweeted on Saturday.

Asked to comment, Marcus Sheff, CEO of the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-SE), told the Tazpit Press Service, “Sadly, this is not a bug. It is a feature of UNRWA. How many other UNRWA-affiliated terrorists do we think raped, maimed, and murdered Israelis on October 7?”

IMPACT-SE is an Israeli non-profit organization that monitors the content in school textbooks, including texts used in UNRWA-run schools in Palestinian refugee camps.

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“UNRWA runs the majority of schools in Gaza where it teaches Jihad, martyrdom, and the burning of Israelis as a barbecue party. Statistically, the majority of the October 7 terrorists – over 1,500- will have gone to these UNRWA schools where they were systematically radicalized over years,” Sheff noted.

UNRWA Under Fire

Since October 7, the agency has been under fire numerous times, prompting Knesset lawmakers to reassess Israel’s relationship with UNRWA.

Reports released by IMPACT-SE and UN Watch documented UNRWA employees expressing support for the attacks on social media.

Soldiers found missiles hidden among UNRWA relief supplies, while sacks belonging to the agency were filled with dirt and used in the lining of tunnels.

Palestinian refugees are the only refugee population with its own dedicated UN agency. The rest of the world’s refugees fall under the mandate of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Israeli officials have called for UNRWA to be closed and for Palestinian refugees to be brought under the responsibility of the UNHCR.

Israel’s biggest criticism of the UNRWA is that the agency defines refugees not only as refugees themselves but also their descendants in perpetuity, including those who have citizenship in other countries. The UNHCR has no such policy.