Press Releases

What They're Saying: Israel Presents Evidence Linking UNRWA Staff to October 7th Massacre

Jan 29, 2024

To: Interested Parties
From: The 10/7 Project
Re: Israel Presents Evidence Linking UNRWA Staff to October 7th Massacre
Contact: [email protected]

On Friday, Israeli authorities presented evidence that a dozen United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) employees were directly involved in the October 7th massacre. Following the allegations, the UN relief group fired 12 staff linked to terrorist activity, seven of which were teachers. Several countries have joined the U.S. in withholding funding to the UN agency, pending an internal investigation. These nations include: the U.S., Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada, The Netherlands, the U.K., Australia, Austria, and Finland. Key takeaways from UNRWA’s connection to terrorist activity are below.

New York Times: “One [of the U.N. workers] is accused of kidnapping a woman. Another is said to have handed out ammunition. A third was described as taking part in the massacre at a kibbutz where 97 people died. And all were said to be employees of the United Nations aid agency that schools, shelters and feeds hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.”

Wall Street Journal: “Intelligence estimates shared with the U.S. conclude that around 1,200 of Unrwa’s roughly 12,000 employees in Gaza have links to Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and about half have close relatives who belong to the Islamist militant groups. Both groups have been designated as terrorist organizations by the U.S. and others. Hamas has run Gaza since a 2007 coup. Unrwa’s problem is not just ‘a few bad apples’ involved in the October 7 massacre,’ said a senior Israeli government official. ‘The institution as a whole is a haven for Hamas’ radical ideology.’”

AP: “Israel accuses UNRWA of turning a blind eye as Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007, siphons off aid intended for civilians and fights from in and around U.N. facilities, several of which have been struck during the war. Israel also has exposed Hamas tunnels running next to or under UNRWA facilities and accuses the agency of teaching hatred of Israel in its schools.”

Axios: “A senior Israeli official said the Shin Bet and Israeli military intelligence provided information that pointed to the active participation of UNRWA staffers and the use of the agency’s vehicles and facilities during the Oct. 7 Hamas attack. ‘This was strong and corroborated intelligence,’ the official said. ‘A lot of the intelligence is a result of interrogations of militants who were arrested during the Oct. 7 attack.’”

National Review: “The Israeli government has publicly questioned the timeline behind UNRWA’s Friday morning announcement. An Israeli government spokesman, Eylon Levy, suggested today in a social-media post that the UNRWA announcement was timed so that the story would get buried under news about the International Court of Justice’s ruling on the case that South Africa had brought against Israel.”

U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Matthew Miller: “The United States is extremely troubled by the allegations that twelve UNRWA employees may have been involved in the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel. The Department of State has temporarily paused additional funding for UNRWA while we review these allegations and the steps the United Nations is taking to address them.”

Senator Jim Risch, Ranking Member of Senate Foreign Relations Committee: “It is unconscionable that UNRWA staff allegedly participated in the attacks and kidnapped Israelis on October 7. For years, I have warned the Biden Administration about resuming funding to UNRWA, which has a history of employing people connected to terrorist movements like Hamas. Today’s news is yet another example that underscores how corrupt this organization truly is.”

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz: “We have been warning for years: UNRWA perpetuates the refugee issue, obstructs peace, and serves as a civilian arm of Hamas in Gaza. I Applaud Canada for joining this decision and hopeful that other nations will follow suit.  UNRWA must pay a price for its actions. UNRWA is not the solution – many of its employees are Hamas affiliates with murderous ideologies, aiding in terror activities and preserving its authority.”

U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office: “The UK is appalled by allegations that UNRWA staff were involved in the 7 October attack against Israel, a heinous act of terrorism that the UK government has repeatedly condemned.”

Canada’s Minister of International Development, Ahmed Hussen: “Canada welcomes United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’s direction that UNRWA swiftly investigate these extremely serious allegations. Canada has temporarily paused any additional funding to UNRWA while it undertakes a thorough investigation into these allegations. Should the allegations prove to be accurate, Canada expects UNRWA to immediately act against those determined to have been involved in Hamas’s terrorist attacks.”

Finland’s Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Ville Tavio: “We must make sure that not a single euro of Finland’s money goes to Hamas or other terrorists. The suspicion that employees of an organisation receiving humanitarian assistance are involved in a terrorist attack is the reason for suspending the payments. The case must be investigated thoroughly.”

Japan Foreign Affairs Ministry: “Japan is extremely concerned about the alleged involvement of UNRWA staff members in the terror attack on Israel on October 7 last year. In response, Japan has decided to suspend additional funding to UNRWA for the time being while UNRWA conducts an investigation into the matter and considers measures to address the allegations.”

Austrian Federal Ministry: “The allegations of the involvement of UNRWA staff in the barbaric terrorist attack by Hamas on 7 October are deeply shocking and extremely alarming. We demand a comprehensive, swift, and thorough investigation of the accusations from UNRWA and the United Nations. The United Nations must be beyond reproach by rising above any criticism. Those potentially involved in the terrorist attack on 7 October must be held accountable. Until these allegations are fully clarified, and there is clarity about the resulting consequences, Austria, in coordination with international partners, will temporarily suspend all further payments to UNRWA.”

Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna: “Concerning the recent very serious allegations against UNRWA, Estonia will not continue with the funding of the organisation. I call for a quick and in-depth investigation of these alligations.”


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