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Britain requires 'absolute guarantee' that UNRWA staff will not participate in terror activities before resuming funding

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron speaks following his meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov in Sofia, Bulgaria, February 14, 2024. (Photo: REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov)

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron says Great Britain wants an “absolute guarantee” that the United Nations Palestinian Refugee Agency (UNRWA) will not employ staff who are willing to attack Israel, according to a Reuters report.

His statement comes after allegations that 12 staff members of the UNRWA humanitarian agency participated in the Oct. 7 attack by the Hamas terror organization that took 1,200 Israeli lives and 240 hostages captive in the Gaza enclave.

In January, Britain and 14 other nations joined the United States in temporarily suspending $350 million in funds for UNRWA following the disturbing reports.

When asked what Britain would need to see for funding to resume, Cameron responded, “What we’re looking for is an absolute guarantee that this can’t happen again.”

“Let’s be clear here that it looks as if there were people working for UNRWA who took part in the October 7 attacks on Israel; that is unacceptable,” he added.

“That’s why we paused our funding. That’s why these reviews are taking place,” he said during a trip to Sofia, Bulgaria. “We need them to take place quickly because many UNRWA staff do an absolutely vital job inside Gaza, where they are the only network for distributing aid, to make sure that we get aid to people that need it very, very badly.”

Cameron highlighted the need for an “absolute guarantee” from UNRWA during an Eastern European tour to bolster support for Ukraine. 

In January, after the allegations came to light, UNRWA’s Commission General Phillippe Lazzarini swiftly dismissed nine staff members accused of being linked to the Oct. 7 terror attack.

However, just last week, IDF troops discovered a tunnel shaft underneath a UNRWA school that led to Hamas terror tunnels and a top-secret intelligence center. Katz called for Lazzarini’s immediate resignation.

Katz dismissed Lazzarini’s claim that he was unaware of its presence as “not only absurd but also an affront to common sense.”

“His prompt resignation is imperative,” he wrote on the social media platform 𝕏.

“The exposure of UNRWA’s Gaza headquarters’ deep involvement with Hamas, including its use for terror activities and as an access point to terror tunnels, requires immediate action,” said Katz.

Israeli officials say at least 10% of UNRWA’s employees support Hamas, which is why they are seeking to stop the agency from operating in Gaza after the war, according to Katz.

“The foreign ministry aims to ensure that UNRWA will not be a part of the day after,” Katz wrote on 𝕏.

The UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services is investigating the allegations against UNRWA and is slated to report its preliminary findings within weeks.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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