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unrwa scandal

Israeli defense minister reveals names of 12 UNRWA workers involved in Oct. 7 Hamas attack

Yoav Gallant tells international media that another 30 UNRWA workers assisted in massacres

Palestinian UNRWA worker participating in Hamas atrocities on Oct. 7 (Photo: Yoav Gallant/X)

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant exposed the identities of 12 UNRWA workers who participated in the Hamas massacres of more than 1,200 Israeli men, women and children, mostly civilians on Oct. 7.

Gallant told international media that Israel has further evidence linking an additional 30 UNRWA workers to the Hamas terror organization and the atrocities it committed, including the abduction of 250 Israeli and international hostages on Oct. 7.

However, the strong ties between UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency) and Hamas predate the surprise border invasion of Israel on the day which has become known as the "Black Shabbat."

Israeli intelligence estimates that around 12% of UNRWA’s 13,000 Gazan employees are affiliated with Hamas and other allied terrorist organizations. This corresponds to more than 1,500 UNRWA workers acting as operatives for Hamas, which indicates the extent of the infiltration into the presumably neutral and professional UN-Palestinian aid agency.

In early February, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused UNRWA of being complicit in the Hamas atrocities.

“UNRWA is totally infiltrated with Hamas, Netanyahu told a UN delegation that visited Israel. “It has been in the service of Hamas and its schools and in many other things,” the premier added.

Netanyahu further stressed the need to replace UNRWA with a professional and credible humanitarian organization, saying: “I think it’s time that the international community and the UN itself understand that UNRWA’s mission has to end.”

In December, the Israeli journalist Almog Boker published a testimonial from an Israeli hostage who was released in November after reportedly being held captive by a UNRWA teacher in the Gaza Strip.

“’Uninvolved,’ they say, right? Well, read this story carefully. One of the abductees, held for nearly 50 days in an attic, reveals he was held by a UNRWA teacher – a father of ten children. This teacher locked the victim away, barely provided food, and neglected medical needs,” Boker said.

UNRWA is currently in the spotlight due to new information about its extensive ties to Hamas and other terrorist organizations. In January, the United States and several other countries suspended their financial aid to UNRWA due to its terrorist ties and involvement in the brutal attack last fall.

UN Watch Advocacy Director recently said in an interview that funding UNRWA is like providing missiles to Hamas and discussed the research his organization has conducted for nearly a decade, showing evidence that UNRWA staff members are closely affiliated with the terror group.

David May, research manager and senior research analyst for the Foundation For Defense of Democracies (FDD) condemned UNRWA and emphasized the need for the U.S. and other democracies to permanently end its financial aid to the compromised UN agency.

“U.S. taxpayer dollars helped cover the paychecks for some of the perpetrators of the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust. This should convince the United States and Western allies to scrap UNRWA and transfer its responsibilities to organizations with accountability,” May stated.

Earlier this month, the IDF discovered a top-secret Hamas intelligence center located below UNRWA's headquarters in Gaza City. UNRWA officially claimed that it was unaware of its existence, however, this has been heavily disputed by the United States and other nations.

UNRWA was created after the first Arab-Israeli war in 1949 with the formal task of assisting Palestinian refugees who fled. While other UN agencies have relocated millions of refugees worldwide since World War II, UNRWA has uniquely passed the refugee status from one generation to the next.

Many Israeli and international critics argue that UNRWA is perpetuating the conflict.

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

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