The United Nations chief has urged donor states to ensure the continuous flow of aid to Gaza, as some countries suspended funding to the UNRWA agency for Palestinians due to allegations that certain staff members were involved in the October 7 massacre.
The dispute over UNRWA deepened, and amid heavy fighting in Gaza, more people sought refuge by moving south towards the Egyptian border.
UNRWA announced on Friday that it had terminated several employees based on unspecified accusations from Israel regarding their involvement in Hamas’s October 7 offensive.
Donor countries, including Germany, Britain, Italy, Australia, and Finland, joined the United States in suspending additional funding to the agency in response to the allegations.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, while acknowledging the concerns and expressing his own horror at the accusations, appealed to the governments that suspended contributions to ensure the continued operations of UNRWA.
Guterres emphasized that the reprehensible actions of some UNRWA staff should not result in the penalization of thousands of other humanitarian workers.
Providing details, Guterres stated that out of the 12 employees accused of participating in the attack, nine were immediately terminated, one was confirmed dead, and the identity of the remaining two is being clarified.
He asserted that all individuals involved would be held accountable, including through criminal prosecution.