Allegations against aid organization: UN employees are said to have kidnapped and murdered

Accusations against aid organization
UN employees are said to have kidnapped and murdered

Listen to article

This audio version was artificially generated. More info | Send feedback

The fact that some states are cutting off funding to the UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees suggests that the allegations against some employees have weight. A document from Israel is now said to contain evidence. Accordingly, employees kidnapped people and killed Israelis in a kibbutz.

There are serious allegations that have been made against several employees of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). The “New York Times” (NYT) is now reporting, which specific offenses the UN employees are said to have been guilty of. Someone is accused of kidnapping a woman. Another is said to have handed out ammunition. A third party is said to have been involved in the massacre at a kibbutz in which 97 people died. And all are said to be employees of the United Nations relief agency, which educates, shelters and feeds hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The allegations are contained in a dossier submitted to the United States government. It details Israel’s allegations against a dozen United Nations relief agency employees who are said to have played a role in the Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7 or in the period thereafter.

The United Nations said Friday it had fired several staff members after being informed of the allegations. However, little was known about the allegations until the dossier was viewed by The New York Times on Sunday. According to the NYT, it lists the names and occupations of UNRWA employees as well as the allegations made against them.

Cell phone data is intended to convict employees

The dossier states that Israeli intelligence officials tracked the movements of six of the men inside Israel on October 7 using their phones; others were intercepted in telephone conversations inside the Gaza Strip in which, according to Israeli accounts, they discussed their involvement in the Hamas attack.

Three other defendants received text messages asking them to show up at assembly points on Oct. 7, and another was allegedly told to bring rocket-propelled grenades that were stored in his home, according to the dossier.

The Israelis described 10 of the employees as members of Hamas, the militant group that controlled the Gaza Strip at the time of the Oct. 7 attack, according to the report. Another is believed to belong to another militant group, Islamic Jihad. Seven of the accused are said to have worked as teachers at UNRWA schools and taught students subjects such as mathematics and Arabic. Two others worked in the schools in other roles. The remaining three were described as clerks, social workers and warehouse managers.

School counselor is said to have kidnapped woman

The most detailed allegations in the dossier also involve a school counselor from Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. He is accused of working with his son to kidnap a woman from Israel, according to the NYT. A social worker from Nuseirat in central Gaza is accused of helping bring the body of a dead Israeli soldier to Gaza, as well as distributing ammunition and coordinating vehicles on the day of the attack.

The Israeli allegations come against the backdrop of decades of disputes with UNRWA. Since 1949, the relief organization has looked after the families of Palestinians who fled their homes or were expelled during the wars surrounding the founding of the State of Israel. The organization provides vital assistance to more than five million Palestinian refugees scattered across the Middle East whose future and status have never been resolved despite years of negotiations.

But for its critics, especially from Israel, the organization is an obstacle to resolving the conflict in the Middle East. According to critics, their very existence prevents Palestinian refugees from integrating into new communities and fuels the expectation that they will one day return to today’s Israel – a goal that political hardliners in Israel in particular say they do not want to allow. In Gaza, many in Israel argue, UNRWA has come under the influence of Hamas. The aid organization rejects this claim.

As a result of the allegations, countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Finland and Italy announced that they would suspend their aid payments. On Saturday, the federal government also announced that it would not approve any new funding for UNRWA in the Gaza Strip until the allegations had been clarified.

source site-34