FM Katz calls for UNRWA head’s ‘prompt resignation’ after Hamas tunnel, date center found under Gaza HQ

Israel Katz arrives for a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem on December 10, 2023 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Israel Katz arrives for a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem on December 10, 2023 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Foreign Minister Israel Katz calls for the head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) to quit, following Israel’s discovery of a Hamas tunnel and a top secret data center right under the agency’s evacuated Gaza City headquarters.

Israel Katz dismisses UNRWA commissioner general Philippe Lazzarini’s claim that he was unaware of its presence as “not only absurd but also an affront to common sense.”

“His prompt resignation is imperative,” he writes on X, formerly Twitter.

“The exposure of UNRWA’s Gaza headquarters’ deep involvement with Hamas, including its use for terror activities and as an access point to terror tunnels, requires immediate action,” says Katz.

The IDF and the Shin Bet security agency said operations in Gaza City in recent weeks had led to the discovery of a “tunnel shaft” near a school run by the humanitarian agency.

“The shaft led to an underground terror tunnel that served as a significant asset of Hamas’s military intelligence and passed under the building that serves as UNRWA’s main headquarters in the Gaza Strip,” they added in a statement.

IDF soldiers inside what the army said was a Hamas data center in a tunnel under a compound of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA) in Gaza City, February 8, 2024 (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

“Electrical infrastructure” in the tunnel — 700 meters (765 yards) long and 18 meters underground — “connected” to the agency’s HQ, “indicating that UNRWA’s facilities supplied the tunnel with electricity,” they said.

Documents and a stash of weapons in the UN compound itself “confirmed that the offices had in fact also been used by Hamas terrorists,” the joint statement said.

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