The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees fired a number of its staffers in Gaza suspected of taking part in the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas and other militants on southern Israel, its director said Friday, prompting the United States — the agency’s biggest donor — to temporarily halt its funding.
The agency, known by its acronym UNRWA, has been the main agency providing aid for Gaza’s population amid the humanitarian disaster caused by Israel’s offensive against Hamas in Gaza triggered by the Oct. 7 attack. UNRWA officials did not comment on the impact that the U.S. halt in funding would have on its operations.
UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini said it terminated contracts with “several” employees and ordered an investigation after Israel provided information alleging they played a role in the attack. The U.S. State Department said there were allegations against 12 employees. UNRWA has 13,000 staffers in Gaza, almost all of them Palestinians, ranging from teachers in schools that the agency runs to doctors, medical staff and aid workers.
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