Foreign Ministry Criticizes UNRWA Review Group’s Report for Failing to Address Hamas Infiltration

By Yoni Weiss

United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) building in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90/File)

The Foreign Ministry issued a response on Motzoei Shabbos to the interim report of the Independent Review Group led by Catherine Colonna.

Colonna, a former French minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, visited Israel earlier this month to gather information on the links between UNRWA staff and the Hamas terror group.

“The interim report of the Independent Review Group is an attempt to conceal UNRWA’s shortcomings to facilitate the agency’s funding,” said the Foreign Ministry.

Despite Israel providing detailed information on Hamas and Islamic Jihad’s extensive infiltration of UNRWA in Gaza, including revelations that over 2,000 UNRWA employees are affiliated with terrorist organizations, with one-fifth of school principals and deputy principals being Hamas personnel, and evidence of tunnels or other terrorist infrastructure in over 30 UNRWA facilities, the interim report failed to advocate for the dismissal or prohibition of Hamas and other terrorist organization members from UNRWA employment.

“The group’s proposed superficial reforms are inadequate and sidestep the fundamental issue that UNRWA is intertwined with Hamas’s terrorist network,” the ministry emphasized.

“The committee’s conclusions tarnish the reputation of the U.N. and its secretary-general,” the ministry stressed. “Israel urges donor countries to prevent their taxpayers’ funds from flowing through UNRWA to terrorist organizations and to redirect this funding to alternative humanitarian organizations in Gaza.”

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