The United States is extremely troubled by the allegations that twelve UNRWA employees may have been involved in the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel. The Department of State has temporarily paused additional funding for UNRWA while we review these allegations and the steps the United Nations is taking to address them.
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on January 25 to emphasize the necessity of a thorough and swift investigation of this matter. We welcome the decision to conduct such an investigation and Secretary General Guterres’ pledge to take decisive action to respond, should the allegations prove accurate. We also welcome the UN’s announcement of a “comprehensive and independent” review of UNRWA. There must be complete accountability for anyone who participated in the heinous attacks of October 7.
UNRWA plays a critical role in providing lifesaving assistance to Palestinians, including essential food, medicine, shelter, and other vital humanitarian support. Their work has saved lives, and it is important that UNRWA address these allegations and take any appropriate corrective measures, including reviewing its existing policies and procedures.
The United States has reached out to the Government of Israel to seek more information about these allegations, and we have briefed Members of Congress. We will remain in close contact with the United Nations and Government of Israel regarding this matter.
Official news published at https://www.state.gov/statement-on-unrwa-allegations/