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UN Investigation Refutes Israel's Charges Against UNRWA Aid Agency

Catherine Colonna headed a UN investigation which showed Israel's charges against UN RWA had no basis. Credit: UN TV

April 22, 2024 (EIRNS)—The UN investigation, headed as of Feb. 5 by former French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, has found no basis for Israel’s charges against UNRWA (UN Works and Relief Agency for Palestine Refugees), reported the Times of Israel. Israel had charged that UNRWA was fatally compromised by Hamas terrorists. They issued these charges on Jan. 26, within hours after the International Court of Justice delivered their expected decision that South Africa had shown Israel to be plausibly involved in genocide against Palestinians in Gaza; so, the suspicion, even from that time, was that there might not be much evidence for Israel’s claims. Worse, regardless of the dubious Israeli claims, various Western countries cut off their financial support for the last three months from the primary body trying to keep 1.4 million Palestinian refugees in Gaza alive, plus millions more in the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and elsewhere. Apparently, Israel made little or no effort to justify any of their claims.

The “Independent Review of Mechanisms and Procedures To Ensure Adherence by UNRWA to

the Humanitarian Principle of Neutrality” dated April 20, 2024, states that Israel has failed to provide evidence of claims that UNRWA workers in Gaza have ties to terrorist organizations. Their Executive Summary is published today, but The Guardian reported from a copy of the findings that they had obtained. The Times of Israel coverage noted that Israel had alleged that at least 12 employees of the UN body for Palestinian refugees were directly involved in the October 7 atrocities perpetrated against Israel by Hamas; another 30 assisted or facilitated those crimes; and as much as 12% of the organization’s staff were affiliated with terror organizations.

The Colonna report pointed out that Israel receives a regularly updated list of UNRWA’s staff members, in order to vet them, yet has not raised concerns with UNRWA or the United Nations about any names that have appeared on the list since 2011! Further: “Israel made public claims that a significant number of UNRWA employees are members of terrorist organizations. However, Israel has yet to provide supporting evidence of this.”

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