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UNRWA: Israel did not provide evidence to prove accusations against our staff

February 13, 2024 at 9:12 am

UNRWA Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini speaks during a press conference at the Brussels, on February 12, 2023 [KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images]

Israel has not shared any evidence proving its allegations regarding nine UNRWA staff members it says were involved in Hamas’ 7 October infiltration of Israel, the organisation’s commissioner-general said yesterday.

“What Israel said about the allegations of UNRWA employees’ involvement in the October attacks are just allegations,” Philippe Lazzarini said, adding: “Tel Aviv did not share with us information or evidence regarding the allegations levelled against the former employees.”

“We have begun an investigation carried out by independent external parties to review all the methods of work of the agency and its employees,” he said.

He explained that UN aid trucks have not been allowed into Gaza since Sunday at a time when there is a “food shortage and signs of famine in the northern Gaza Strip.”

“We feel growing concern about the military operations in Rafah,” he added.

On Sunday night, flouting the provisional ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Israel launched an air campaign on Rafah, killing more than 65 Palestinians. The city had been declared a “safe zone” by occupation forces and over a million Palestinians had taken shelter there after being forced out of their homes in the northern areas of the Strip since 7 October.

The Israeli offensive has left 85 per cent of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure was damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

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