An UNRWA staff member is accused of abducting a woman, another with assisting in abducting the body of a soldier and of handing out ammunition, a third participated in the massacre in Kibbutz Be'eri where 97 people were murdered, the New York Times revealed late on Sunday after reviewing some of the intelligence given by Israel to the U.S. regarding the complicity of 12 Palestinian UNRWA workers in the atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7. According to the report, 10 of the organization's staff were Hamas operatives and one was a member of the Islamic Jihad.
A document presented to American officials shows how military intelligence identified six of the UN agency's staff members inside Israel during the Hamas atrocities committed on October 7, based on their cellphone locations.
Accusations against others are based among other things on phone conversations intercepted inside Gaza, where they discussed their involvement in the massacre.
Three others, who in addition to their positions in UNRWA, were members of the military wing of Hamas, received instructions in text messages to report to specific locations where terrorists were to meet, and one was instructed to bring with him anti-tank missiles stored in his home.
The document in the possession of American intelligence agencies also states that of the dozen identified, 10 were active Hamas operatives and one was a member of the Islamic Jihad. Seven of the UNRWA workers were employed as math and Arabic teachers in the agency's schools, two others also worked in the schools but not in teaching positions and the three remaining, were a clerk, a social worker and the manager of the school's storage, whom the New York Times tracked down using social media.
The document details the scope of the actions of some UNRWA staff. One, who was a guidance councilor in a Khan Younis school, is suspected along with his son, of abducting a woman from Israel. The social worker identified, assisted in the abduction of the body of an IDF soldier, handed out ammunition to the terrorists and coordinated traffic inside Israel during the massacre.
Two Western officials were able to verify the intelligence. Although the U.S. has not yet confirmed the Israeli claims, American officials said they were credible enough to announce that funding to UNRWA was suspended.
UNRWA oversees 59 Palestinian refugee camps in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Jerusalem the West Bank and Gaza. Most of the organization's funds are directed to running its schools. Its annual budget stands at over a billion dollars, 90% of which comes from countries that have now suspended their contributions. Japan and Austria, on Monday also announced it is suspending its funding to UNRWA.
The U.S. is the largest funder of the UN organization, by some 344 million dollars in 2022, followed by Germany providing 202 million dollars and the EU providing 114 million dollars. The EU said in the past that it would reduce funding due to the incitement against Israel in the UNRWA text books.
Australia, the UK, Canada and Finland combined, supported UNRWA with funds totaling 66 million dollars.