UN Oversight Office Closes Investigation Into Four Staff Over Alleged Ties to Hamas

by | Apr 28, 2024

UN Oversight Office Closes Investigation Into Four Staff Over Alleged Ties to Hamas

by | Apr 28, 2024

un building

Four of the 12 employees of the UN Palestinian Relief Agency (UNRWA) under investigation by the UN’s internal inspector’s office had their cases closed due to lack of evidence. In January, Israel claimed 12 members of UNRWA participated in the Hamas attack on October 7, leading many Western countries to cut funding for the aid agency. A report from a former French foreign minister concluded Israel had failed to produce evidence to back the assertion. 

The UN Office of Internal Oversight Services said the investigation into four employees has been closed due to lack of evidence, and eight remain open. The case was closed “as no evidence was provided by Israel to support the allegations,” said UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric.

The official went on to explain that of the remaining eight inquiries, one has been “suspended pending receipt of additional supporting evidence.” 

The Israeli allegations against UNRWA surfaced the same week that the World Court ruled it was plausible that Tel Aviv was conducting a genocide in Gaza. UNRWA leadership responded by immediately firing all 12 employees, hoping to avoid any loss of funding. 

While Israel claimed it had compiled an intelligence dossier proving that a dozen UNRWA staffers participated in the Hamas attack on October 7 and thousands of others had ties to the militant organization, Tel Aviv has been unable to produce evidence to support the assertions. 

Last week, an investigation led by the former French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna issued a report saying Israel did not provide “any supporting evidence” for the allegations. The report added that Tel Aviv “has not informed UNRWA of any concrete concerns relating to UNRWA staff since 2011.”

After Israel made the claims, the US led a group of Western nations in cutting funding to UNRWA, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken endorsing the assertions as highly credible. As Tel Aviv has failed to produce evidence, about half of a dozen countries have resumed aid. However, the White House has remained steadfast in backing its ally Tel Aviv, and Congress barred any US funds from going to UNRWA for one year in the $95 billion foreign military assistance bill passed last week. 

Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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