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You are here News Human Rights Israeli failed to prove Hamas has deeply infiltrated UN aid agency, report says

Israeli failed to prove Hamas has deeply infiltrated UN aid agency, report says

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Report exonerates UNRWA

Israel has provided no evidence that hundreds of U.N. aid workers in Gaza are affiliated with Hamas, but the aid agency needs more "robust" screening to ensure neutrality among its workforce, an independent review released Monday has found.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres ordered the review after Israel accused workers with the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) of providing support for the attack on Israel that ignited the Hamas-Israeli war. More than a dozen nations, including the U.S., halted funding for the agency when the allegations became public.

The review was prompted by Israeli allegations that at least 12 UNRWA employees were directly involved in the Hamas-led attack Oct. 7, another 30 supported the attack in some way, and as many as 12% of the organization’s staff were affiliated with the militant group. UNRWA has over 13,000 aid workers in Gaza.

"Moving forward, the secretary-general appeals to all stakeholders to actively support UNRWA, as it is a lifeline for Palestine refugees in the region," his office said in a statement.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying Hamas is tied in so closely to UNRWA that “it is impossible to say where UNRWA ends and Hamas begins.”

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