A major United Nations agency responsible for humanitarian services for Palestinians fired staff members for reportedly participating in Hamas’ terrorist attacks Oct. 7 in Israel.

The U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East fired the employees for their alleged involvement in Hamas’ slaughter in southern Israel that left 1,200 civilians dead and over 250 taken hostage, the agency announced Friday. UNRWA staff previously had been criticized for allegedly promoting antisemitism among the Palestinian population and diverting aid to Hamas, according to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.


“The United States is extremely troubled by the allegations that 12 UNRWA employees may have been involved in the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel,” the U.S. State Department said in a formal statement Friday.

“The Israeli Authorities have provided UNRWA with information about the alleged involvement of several UNRWA employees in the horrific attacks on Israel on 7 October,” UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said earlier Friday. “To protect the agency’s ability to deliver humanitarian assistance, I have taken the decision to immediately terminate the contracts of these staff members and launch an investigation in order to establish the truth without delay.”

“Any UNRWA employee who was involved in acts of terror will be held accountable, including through criminal prosecution,” Lazzarini said. “These shocking allegations come as more than 2 million people in Gaza depend on lifesaving assistance that the agency has been providing since the war began.”

[Hamas, which the State Department designates as a terrorist organization, is the elected government of the Gaza Strip and is targeted there for eradication by Israel since Oct. 7.]

The U.N. Relief and Works Agency noted that it continues to condemn Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks in Israel. However, UNRWA does not share the opinion of the international community that Hamas is a terrorist organization, according to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

UNRWA has worked with and employed members of Hamas before, according to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. Some held senior positions in the U.N. agency.

U.S. intelligence has warned that humanitarian aid delivered to the Palestinian people through UNRWA has a high risk of being diverted to Hamas, as noted Jan. 17 by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The Biden administration signed off in October on $100 million in aid to Gaza, despite the well-documented risks.

The State Department announced Friday that it had “paused additional funding for UNRWA” while an investigation is pending.

Officials have “temporarily paused additional funding for UNRWA while we review these allegations and the steps the United Nations is taking to address them,” the State Department said.

UNRWA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This report originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com, and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the URL or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.