Occupation army soldiers in front of UNRWA headquarters in the Gaza Strip during operations early this month (Reuters)

An assessment conducted by the US Intelligence Agency (CIA) cast doubt on the validity of Israeli allegations that employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) were involved in the attack launched by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) on October 7.

Israel accused 12 UNRWA employees of participating in the attacks launched by Hamas on the settlements surrounding the Gaza Strip, and said that 10% of all employees of the UN agency belong to Hamas.

This accusation - which was not based on evidence - prompted many countries, including the United States, to cut off the funding they were granting to the agency, which plays an important role in providing relief to Palestinians in Gaza during the unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the Strip due to the siege and war that has been ongoing for 140 days.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the US intelligence report issued last week assessed with “low confidence” that “a handful of agency employees may have participated in the attack,” and indicated that intelligence considered these accusations credible, although it could not confirm them. health independently.

However, the US intelligence report explicitly questioned the validity of the accusations made by Israel against the UN agency of cooperation with Hamas on a broader basis.

A report published by the British newspaper "The Guardian" indicated that the report stated that although UNRWA coordinated with Hamas to provide humanitarian aid and work in Gaza, there was no evidence to indicate that it had entered into a partnership with the movement.

She added that Israel "did not share the raw intelligence behind its assessments with the United States."

The newspaper explained that two informed sources - whose identities were not revealed - referred in this regard to the hatred that Israel has for UNRWA, and quoted one of the sources as saying, “A specific section mentions how Israeli bias distorts many of their assessments of UNRWA and says that this has led to distortions.”

The newspaper reported that the 4-page report issued by the National Intelligence Council was distributed to US government officials last week.

Displaced Palestinians and refugees receiving food aid at an UNRWA center in Rafah (French)


It is noteworthy that UNRWA dismissed two workers in Gaza against the backdrop of Israeli accusations, and announced last January the opening of an independent investigation into the Israeli accusations regarding the involvement of its workers in the Hamas attack.

UNRWA spokeswoman Tamara Al-Rifai said, “It is extremely important for us to conduct an independent investigation into these specific matters in the individual cases that Israel has brought to our attention.”

She added in statements to Agence France-Presse, "We have 33,000 employees, almost all of whom work hard and are very committed, and have worked at the agency for many years."

Al-Rifai indicated that UNRWA received allegations from the Israeli government regarding 12 names in Gaza, and we had to verify these names in the records of the organization, which includes 13,000 employees in Gaza, and we were able to match 8 of these names.

ولفتت إلى أن تجميد الدول مساهماتها التمويلية للأونروا أمر مدمر للغاية، موضحة أن الوكالة تقدم الملاجئ ومساعدات غذائية وطبية ومياها نظيفة لنحو مليوني شخص في غزة.

من جهته، ناشد الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة أنطونيو غوتيريش كافة البلدان أن تضمن استمرارية عمل الأونروا "المنقذ للحياة".

حل عادل

وتأسست الأونروا بموجب قرار من الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة في 1949، وكُلّفت بتقديم المساعدة والحماية للاجئين في 5 مناطق هي الأردن، وسوريا، ولبنان، والضفة الغربية، وقطاع غزة. ويهدف عملها للوصول إلى حل عادل لمأساة اللاجئين.

وتقدم الوكالة خدمات إغاثية لنحو 5.9 ملايين لاجئ فلسطيني مسجل، منهم 1.7 مليون في قطاع غزة، فيما تؤكد إسرائيل أنها ستسعى لمنع الوكالة من العمل في قطاع غزة بعد انتهاء الحرب.

والاتهامات الإسرائيلية للوكالة ليست الأولى من نوعها، فمنذ بداية العدوان على غزة، اتهمت إسرائيل موظفي الوكالة بالعمل لصالح حركة حماس، وحسب مراقبين، يعد هذا الاتهام تسويغا مسبقا لاستهداف مدارس ومرافق الأونروا في القطاع، التي تستضيف عشرات الآلاف من النازحين، معظمهم من الأطفال والنساء.

المصدر : الجزيرة + غارديان