Despite Looming Gaza Famine, U.S. Halts UNRWA Funding After Israel Claims 12 U.N. Staff Aided 10/7 Attack

On the same day the U.N.’s highest court accepted South Africa’s case alleging genocide in Gaza, Israel accused 12 employees with the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, or UNRWA, of taking part in the Hamas attack on October 7. The United States and at least 10 other nations have now suspended funding to the agency, which retains a staff of over 13,000 and provides essential aid to most of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents. “It’s the worst possible reaction to these allegations,” says Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council. He calls for an investigation but says donors must continue to support aid groups, with UNRWA being the most important. “All of us combined other groups are not even close to being what UNRWA is for the people of Gaza,” says Egeland. UNRWA has responded to the allegations by announcing the group will “immediately terminate the contracts of these staff members and launch an investigation.”

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