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Israeli FM: UNRWA anti-Israel report ‘swan song of Hamas mission to UN’

The U.N. agency's chutzpah is without limit, Israel Katz said.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz (left) and Brazilian Ambassador Frederico Meyer at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum in Jerusalem, Feb. 19, 2024. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.
Foreign Minister Israel Katz (left) and Brazilian Ambassador Frederico Meyer at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum in Jerusalem, Feb. 19, 2024. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.

There is “no limit” to UNRWA’s chutzpah, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said on Monday, calling the terror-tainted aid agency’s investigation into alleged Israeli abuse of Palestinian detainees “the swan song of the Hamas mission at the United Nations.”

The swift and furious push-back against the United Nations Reliefs and Works Agency, which itself is at the center of an investigation, comes amid a diplomatic battle over the future of the organization following Israeli revelations of its direct ties to Palestinian terrorism.

“The audacity of UNRWA, with employees complicit in the October 7th massacre and thousands linked to Hamas is unacceptable,” Katz wrote in the English version of the statement on X. “UNRWA’s presence in Gaza post-Hamas is untenable. This marks the end of Hamas’s influence in the UN.”

He again urged UNRWA Commisioner-General Philippe Lazzarini, who is trying to resuscitate the agency, to resign.

A bombshell Israeli intelligence report, shared with the U.S. administration, showed that dozens of UNRWA employees actively participated in the Hamas onslaught on Oct. 7, while 10% of the agency’s 13,000 employees in Gaza are Hamas members. The revelations prompted nearly 20 countries, led by the U.S. and Germany, UNRWA’s biggest donors, to suspend contributions to the agency totaling $438 million, or more than half of this year’s expected funding. 

While American funding to UNRWA is being stopped for good in the wake of congressional legislation, the E.U. resumed funding after the agency agreed to allow E.U.-appointed experts to audit the way it screens staff to identify extremists.

The Oct. 7 massacre has placed renewed international focus on UNRWA’s terrorism ties and led to calls from across the Israeli political spectrum to cut all ties with the organization, while the heads of the agency, backed by the E.U. foreign policy chief Josep Borell, seek to rescue the agency by means of an investigation into its wrongdoing.

With the world’s attention on its conduct, UNRWA has prepared an anti-Israel investigation of its own detailing alleged abuse of hundreds of Gazans captured during the current war.

But after decades of on-again off-again criticism of UNRWA, the wealth of intelligence information uncovered during IDF operations in Gaza has called the continued existence of the organization in question as never before.

Meanwhile, Minister for Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism Amichai Chikli told a group of Christian lawmakers from around the world on Monday that UNRWA must be replaced by other U.N. bodies.

He called the U.N.’s Palestinian aid agency “first and foremost a Hamas educational organization” that led a vicious campaign of antisemitic incitement that led to the violence of Oct. 7.

“If we will allow UNRWA to continue, we will be allowing the same ideology that brought young people to slaughter entire families in their homes,” he told the Israel Allies Foundation chairman’s conference in Jerusalem.

In his address to the group on Monday, Katz also urged Christian supporters of Israel to join in the global fight against antisemitism.

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