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Middle East: Israel presents list of suspected UN employees at Hamas

Middle East: Israel presents list of suspected UN employees at Hamas
Middle East: Israel presents list of suspected UN employees at Hamas

Israel accuses the Palestinian relief agency UNRWA of being infiltrated by Hamas. A list with the names of allegedly affected employees is said to confirm this.

Israel says it has compiled a list of names of employees of the Palestinian relief agency UNRWA who are also said to be active in the terrorist organization Hamas. The country has identified 108 employees of the organization to whom this applies and presented a corresponding list to UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini, the Israeli embassy in Berlin said.

This represents only a small proportion of the hundreds of UNRWA employees who are said to be employed by Hamas or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). The information cannot currently be independently verified.

According to a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the list was also presented to UN Secretary General António Guterres. Israel has not yet published it. The “Bild” newspaper had previously reported on it.

When asked, the UN Palestinian Relief Agency confirmed that it had received “a letter from the Israeli government with allegations against employees working in the Gaza Strip.” This also included a list of around 100 names that were said to be members of the military wing of Hamas. “UNRWA takes these allegations seriously,” the agency said. The organization responded to the letter and asked for information and cooperation. It does not have resources such as its own intelligence services to investigate the allegations.

UNRWA hit the headlines in January because Israel accused several of the aid agency’s employees of being involved in the October 7 massacre. According to Israel, the organization as a whole has been infiltrated by the Islamist Hamas. Several countries, including Germany, initially stopped their payments to the organization.

An audit report by independent experts later concluded that UNRWA had established “robust” mechanisms to uphold its principle of neutrality. But there was room for improvement. At the beginning of April, Germany announced that it would resume funding for the UN Palestinian relief agency UNRWA.

“UNRWA has become a terrorist aid organization. The German government must ensure that German tax money does not end up with terrorists,” demanded Israel’s ambassador to Germany, Ron Prosor, according to a statement. Hamas also uses the UN organization’s facilities for military purposes, it added.

Source: Stern

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