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Dhaka Tribune

Israel says will seek to stop UN agency’s activities in Gaza after war

  • Hamas on Saturday slammed Israeli threats against UNRWA
  • Israeli military offensive has killed at least 26,083 people
Update : 27 Jan 2024, 10:22 PM

Israel will seek to stop the UN agency for Palestinian refugees from operating in Gaza after the war, a minister said Saturday, after Israel accused several UNRWA staff of involvement in Hamas’s October 7 attack.

Israel was aiming to ensure “UNRWA will not be a part of the day after,” Foreign Minister Israel Katz said on X, formerly Twitter, adding that he would try to gather support from the US, EU, and other major donors to the agency.

Palestinian militant group Hamas on Saturday slammed Israeli “threats” against UNRWA, urging the UN and other international organizations not to “cave into the threats and blackmail.”

UNRWA said Friday it had sacked several employees accused by Israel of involvement in Hamas’s October 7 campaign, prompting the United States to suspend critical funding.

The head of the agency, Philippe Lazzarini, vowed to hold “accountable, including through criminal prosecution” any UNRWA employee found to have taken part in acts of terror.

In response to the firings, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pledged to conduct an “urgent and comprehensive independent review of UNRWA”, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

The US State Department said it had “temporarily paused additional funding” to the agency while it reviewed the claims and the UN’s plan to address concerns.

Twelve employees “may have been involved,” it added.

Australia, Italy and Canada also said they had suspended their funding to the agency.

Israel has vowed to crush Hamas and Gaza’s health ministry says the Israeli military offensive has killed at least 26,083 people, about 70% of them women and children.

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