UN Review: No Evidence UNRWA Staff Are Terrorists

by | Apr 22, 2024

Today the UN released its “Independent Review on UNRWA Adherence to the Humanitarian Principle of Neutrality“, which “confirms that the Agency has systems to address allegations of neutrality breaches, including through disciplinary sanctions”, according to the press release.

This review was commissioned by the UN Secretary-General on February 5, after the Israeli government claimed that staff members of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the key humanitarian aid organization operating in the Gaza Strip, of participating in “Operation Al Aqsa Flood”, the Hamas-led attack in Israel on October 7, 2023.

Israel timed that accusation to coincide with the preliminary measures issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on January 26, which was clearly an attempt to deflect media attention away from the ICJ’s order for Israel to take steps to comply with its obligations under the 1948 Genocide Convention, ruling that Israel is committing a plausible genocide in Gaza.

The review is separate from an ongoing investigation by the UN Office for Internal Oversight Services into Israel’s allegation that UNRWA employees were involved in the 10/7 attacks.

The review notes that all UNRWA staff payments are vetted against a European Union sanctions list, and UNRWA screens all personnel against a UN sanctions list biannually. Additionally, UNRWA shares staff lists annually with Israel. “Of note,” the review states, “the Israeli Government has not informed UNRWA of any concerns relating to any UNRWA  staff based on these staff lists since 2011.”

Israel also has claimed “that a significant number of UNRWA employees are members of terrorist organizations”, the review states. “However, Israel has yet to provide supporting evidence of this.”

In response to Israel’s accusation that UNRWA employees were involved in the 10/7 attacks, the US cut off its funding for UNRWA, despite humanitarian aid agencies and international human rights organizations warning of famine conditions as a result of Israel’s use of starvation as a method of warfare. Children in Gaza have literally been starving to death.

The US has also been arming Israel and protecting it against international censure at the UN Security Council, where it has three times used its veto to block humanitarian ceasefire resolutions. On March 25, the US finally abstained rather than using its veto, resulting in the passage of a Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Although legally binding on Israel as a UN member state, the ceasefire demand was ignored by Israel.

The Biden administration has also touted its own efforts to facilitate the delivery of aid to Gaza by airdrops and via the construction of a floating pier, but aid agencies point out that such efforts are no substitute for an end to Israel’s illegal siege of Gaza and opening of the land crossings to allow trucks to deliver aid in the amounts required to meet the needs of the civilian population.

The administration’s proclaimed concern for the people of Gaza is a cynical public relations ploy aimed at sustaining the illusion that the US has not been complicit in Israel’s genocide.


About Jeremy R. Hammond

Jeremy R. Hammond is an independent journalist and a Research Fellow at The Libertarian Institute whose work focuses on exposing deceitful mainstream propaganda that serves to manufacture consent for criminal government policies. He has written about a broad range of topics, including US foreign policy, economics and the role of the Federal Reserve, and public health policies. He is the author of several books, including Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Ron Paul vs. Paul Krugman: Austrian vs. Keynesian Economics in the Financial Crisis, and The War on Informed Consent. Find more of his articles and sign up to receive his email newsletters at JeremyRHammond.com.

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