ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 142

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Goldknopf aims to evict UNRWA from East Jerusalem office

Sam Sokol is the Times of Israel's political correspondent. He was previously a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz. He is the author of "Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews"

Housing Minister Yitzhak Goldknopf attends a United Torah Judaism faction meeting at the Knesset on  July 10, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
Housing Minister Yitzhak Goldknopf attends a United Torah Judaism faction meeting at the Knesset on July 10, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

Accusing UNRWA of collaborating with Hamas, Housing Minister Yitzhak Goldknopf orders the director general of the Israel Land Authority to evict the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees from any state land it is currently occupying.

In a letter, Goldknopf instructs Yaakov Quint to “immediately halt” all agreements between the ILA and UNRWA “and remove them from the territories leased to them” by the state — such as the organization’s offices in Maalot Dafna and Kafr ‘Aqab in Jerusalem.

UNRWA “acted in the service of Hamas and even took part in the brutal massacre on October 7,” Goldknopf says, accusing it of acting against Israel while based on Israeli soil. “Together with the director general of the Israel Land Authority, I intend to put an end to this and remove them from Israel.”

Israel has accused 12 UNRWA staffers of taking part in Hamas’s attack on October 7 and last week the IDF showed reporters a Hamas data center located directly beneath UNRWA headquarters in Gaza City.

It’s unclear whether Goldknopf has the authority to execute the move.

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