An Israeli intelligence document, disclosed on Monday to CBS News and several Western news outlets, details accusations against twelve U.N. employees whom Israel alleges took part in Hamas’ October 7 attack. The document asserts that seven UNRWA (U.N. Relief and Works Agency) staff members, an organization aiding Palestinian refugees, entered Israeli territory during the attack, with 12 allegedly involved in kidnappings.
These allegations led the U.S. and some Western nations to withhold crucial funds supporting the agency, a vital resource for Palestinians in conflict-ridden Gaza. In response, the U.N. terminated nine of the accused workers and denounced the “abhorrent alleged acts” committed by staff members.
These developments unfold against a backdrop of longstanding tensions between Israel and UNRWA regarding the agency’s operations in Gaza, where it employs around 13,000 individuals.
Despite the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the besieged territory, where Israel’s conflict with Hamas has resulted in the displacement of the majority of the population and reports indicate that a quarter of Palestinians are facing starvation, major donors, including the U.S. and Britain, have temporarily halted funding. On Monday, Japan and Austria also joined them in suspending assistance.