The United Nations agency responsible for Palestinian refugees has fired several employees over claims that they took part in the October 7 attack.
In a statement published on Friday, Unwra Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said that Israeli authorities had provided them with information about the alleged involvement of several staff members in the massacre.
“To protect the Agency’s ability to deliver humanitarian assistance, I have taken the decision to immediately terminate the contracts of these staff members and launch an investigation in order to establish the truth without delay,” he continued.
"Any Unwra employee who was involved in acts of terror will be held accountable, including through criminal prosecution.
“Unwra reiterates its condemnation in the strongest possible terms of the abhorrent attacks of 7 October and calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all Israeli hostages and their safe return to their families.
“These shocking allegations come as more than 2 million people in Gaza depend on lifesaving assistance that the Agency has been providing since the war began. Anyone who betrays the fundamental values of the United Nations also betrays those whom we serve in Gaza, across the region and elsewhere around the world.”
Unwra was founded in 1949 to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestine refugees.
In the decades since, it has swelled to employ over 30,000 people, most of whom are Palestinian themselves.
A report published last year found that several Unwra-run schools had glorified the October 7 attack, in which 1,200 Israelis were killed and others raped and kidnapped.
The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education said at one institution in the West Bank teachers and staff praised Hamas’s actions.