ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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UNRWA must be able to operate even amid probe into Oct. 7 allegations, EU’s Borrell says

European Union's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell attends a news conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 7, 2024. (Efrem Lukatsky/AP)
European Union's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell attends a news conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 7, 2024. (Efrem Lukatsky/AP)

The UN agency for Palestinians UNRWA needs to be able to continue its work while allegations that some its 13,000 staff in Gaza were involved in the Oct. 7 Hamas-led onslaught on Israel are investigated, the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell says.

“Nobody else can do what UNRWA is doing, allegations need to be verified… let’s wait for the investigations to take place,” Borrell says ahead of a meeting of EU development ministers in Brussels.

“In the meantime, people have to continue to eat, have to continue going to the doctors,” he says.

Israel alleges that a dozen of UNRWA’s employees took part in the Oct. 7 attacks, leading multiple international donors to suspend funding for the agency.

One of the 12 men reportedly implicated was an UNRWA teacher accused of being armed with an anti-tank missile, while another teacher was accused of filming a hostage being taken captive during the onslaught.

Another of the staffers, also an elementary school teacher, allegedly served as a Hamas commander and participated in the massacre in Kibbutz Be’eri, while a man employed by UNRWA as a social worker was allegedly involved in the kidnapping of an IDF soldier’s body on that day.

Of the 12 UNRWA workers accused of participating in the October 7 massacre, seven were reportedly teachers, two were educational consultants and others were humanitarian aid warehouse managers.

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