The UN agency that provides vital humanitarian aid to Gaza is in a race against time to find donors to resume its operations before the end of February. Israel’s accusations that 12 of its employees were involved in the October 7 Hamas attacks led more than a dozen countries to suspend their support. The United States is calling for fundamental changes within UNRWA to reactivate its donations.
“We need to look at the organization, how it operates in Gaza, how they manage their staff, and make sure that people who have committed criminal acts, like these 12 individuals, are held accountable immediately so that UNRWA can continue the important work it is doing,” said Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US Ambassador to the UN.
For its part, Israel has asked to disband the agency, in addition to…
“The resignation or removal of UNRWA leaders and a full investigation into what they know about their links to Hamas. There must be accountability for this cover-up, and its leaders must be held accountable,” added Eylon Levy, spokesman for the Government of Israel.
The newly appointed UN GAZA Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator said the agency is irreplaceable. UNRWA was established in 1949 and consists of 30,000 employees serving nearly six million people in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and refugee camps in Arab countries.
“There is no way that any organization can replace or replace the great capacity, the fabric of UNRWA, the capacity, and the knowledge that they have with the people of Gaza,” said Sigrid Kaag, Gaza Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator.
Until now, the UN has not received the official dossier with accusations against 12 employees of the organization from Israel, according to the spokesperson of the Secretary General. However, they are continuing the investigation.