The UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees, UNRWA, announced this Friday the expulsion and opening of an immediate investigation of several members of the organization for their alleged participation in the attacks by Palestinian militias on October 7 in Israel, which They left some 1,200 dead and were the trigger for the current conflict between the Israeli Army and Hamas.
The commissioner general of UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini, has been in charge of announcing these measures after, as stated in a statement published on the agency’s website, the Israeli authorities provided the organization with “information on the alleged participation of several members” of the agency “in the horrific attacks of October 7.
Thus, and “to protect the agency’s ability to deliver humanitarian aid” to the Palestinian population, Lazzarini announces that he has taken the decision to “terminate with immediate effect the contracts of these UNRWA staff members” and to “launch an investigation to find out the truth of what happened without any delay.”
Lazzarini assures that “Any UNRWA employee involved in acts of terrorism will be held accountable, including through criminal prosecution.”
The commissioner thus reiterates, on behalf of the agency, “his condemnation in the strongest terms of the abhorrent attacks of October 7 and calls for the unconditional and immediate return of all Israeli hostages” in the hands of the Palestinian militias and “their return safe for their families.
Finally, Lazzarini stated that “these shocking accusations” come at a time when “more than two million Gazans depend on the vital assistance that the agency has provided since the beginning of the war” and warns that “anyone who betrays the fundamental principles of the UN also betrays the people it serves in Gaza, in the region, and elsewhere in the world.”
UN Secretary General announces “comprehensive” investigation
The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, released a statement shortly after confirming that Lazzarini had already informed him of the situation regarding these “extremely serious” allegations against several members of the agency.
Guterres, in the note, declares himself “horrified by this news” and asks Lazzarini to investigate this matter “expeditiously” to ensure that “any UNRWA employee whose participation or assistance in what happened on October 7, or in any another criminal incident, is proven,” be terminated “immediately” and “processed for possible criminal charges.”
Finally, the Secretary General of the United Nations announces an “urgent and comprehensive review” of the refugee agency itself, without giving further details.