An Israeli intelligence dossier has alleged that 12 UN agency employees were involved in the October 7 attack on Israel, leading to several countries halting their funds for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
The dossier claims that some 190 UNRWA employees, including teachers, have also been fighters for Hamas or Islamic Jihad. However, Palestinian officials have accused Israel of falsifying information to damage the reputation of UNRWA. The UN has fired nine of the accused workers and launched an investigation into the allegations.
Hamas launched a surprise attack on southern Israel on October 7, resulting in the death of at least 1,139 people and the capture of 240 others, according to Israeli figures. In response, Israel conducted a bombardment, siege, and ground invasion of Gaza, resulting in the deaths of over 26,600 people, according to Palestinian authorities.
The Israeli dossier listed 12 employees, their alleged roles in the attack, job descriptions, and photos. Funds from several donor countries have been suspended in light of the allegations, putting the agency’s operations at risk. UNRWA provides crucial assistance to 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza, and the agency said it would not be able to continue operations beyond the end of February without funding.
The allegations have exacerbated tensions between Israel and UNRWA, with Israel accusing the agency of tolerating Hamas’s use of their facilities for attacks. However, UNRWA maintains that it does not knowingly tolerate such behavior and has internal safeguards in place. The head of UNRWA has announced an external review of the agency’s operations and safeguards, while Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz has called for the resignation of the UNRWA head.