By Lucy Adautin
Israel’s Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, has expressed the goal of ensuring that “UNRWA will not be a part of the day after,” indicating a desire to alter the agency’s role, as Katz announced his intention to rally support from major donors such as the US, EU, and others for this objective.
He stated this on X, formerly Twitter.
Palestinian militant group Hamas on Saturday slammed Israeli “threats” against UNRWA, urging the UN and other international organisations not to “cave in to the threats and blackmail”.
UNRWA stated on Friday that it had dismissed several employees accused by Israel of involvement in Hamas’s October 7 attack, leading the United States to suspend critical funding.
Philippe Lazzarini, the agency’s head, pledged to hold accountable any UNRWA employee involved in acts of terror, including through criminal prosecution.
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 reviewing the claims and the UN’s plan to address concerns.
12 employees “may have been involved”, it added.
Australia and Canada also said they had suspended their funding to the agency.