Written by Jack Elbaum
What’s happening: The United States, along with seven other countries, paused funding to the United Nations (U.N.) agency responsible for Palestinian refugees, after Israel shared detailed allegations that numerous employees took part in Hamas’s October 7 terrorist attack.
- The agency: The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA) is a subsidiary of the U.N., established in the wake of the 1948 war. It is focused on humanitarian development and employs nearly 13,000 Palestinians.
The details: One employee worked with his son to abduct an Israeli woman; another helped steal the dead body of an Israeli soldier and distributed ammunition to terrorists; seven of them infiltrated Israel alongside Hamas.
- Terror teachers: Seven of the 12 employees are teachers at U.N. schools. Ten of the employees were affiliated with Hamas while one more was affiliated with Islamic Jihad.
Nothing new: Earlier this year, UN Watch exposed a Telegram channel of over 3,000 UNWRA employees who celebrated Hamas and its October 7 attack as it was ongoing. Additionally, it is estimated about 10 percent of its staff — 1,200 people — are affiliated with terrorist organizations inside the Gaza Strip, and about half have close family members who are part of such groups.
Why it matters: Israel’s evidence jeopardizes the U.N.’s credibility as a supposedly neutral peacekeeping organization and deepens the concerns of countries already skeptical of U.N. involvement and efficacy.
Unique: Palestinians are the only people to inherit refugee status and the only people to have their own U.N. agency for their refugees. Moreover, while the goal of other U.N. refugee agencies is to resettle the displaced population in other countries, the goal of UNRWA is to have all the Palestinians go back to Israel.