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Israel yet to provide evidence for UNRWA claims

Israel is yet to provide supporting evidence for its claim that a significant number of UNRWA staff were members of terrorist organisations, according to a review of the United Nation agency for Palestinian refugees.

The report, which could prompt some donors to review funding freezes, also has found that it has robust frameworks to ensure compliance with humanitarian neutrality principles though issues persist.

The UN appointed former French foreign minister Catherine Colonna to lead the UNRWA neutrality review in February after Israel alleged that 12 members of UNRWA staff had taken part in the Hamas-led attacks on Israel on 7 October 2023 which triggered the Gaza war.

In a separate investigation, a UN oversight body is looking into the allegations against the 12 UNRWA staff.

Reuters reviewed a copy of the Colonna-led review’s final report, which is due to be officially released later today.

The report said Israel had made public claims based on an UNRWA staff list provided to it in March that “a significant number” of UNRWA staff were “members of terrorist organisations”.

“However, Israel has yet to provide supporting evidence of this,” it said.

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