UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that “any UN employee involved in terrorist acts” must be held accountable, in his first statement on UNRWA allegations.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations said in a statement on Sunday morning that any United Nations employee involved in terrorist acts must be held accountable, including through criminal prosecution.
This is the first time that the Secretary-General of the United Nations has spoken publicly in the wake of accusations that twelve employees of the United Nations Relief Organization for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) participated in a Hamas attack against Israel on October 7.
These accusations have led nine countries – the United States of America, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Finland – to suspend their financial support to UNRWA to date. This once again led to UNRWA fearing the need to stop its operations in the Gaza Strip.
Guterres urges continued support for UNRWA's work.
-I understand their concerns. I myself was horrified by these accusations. But I strongly urge governments that have suspended their contributions to at least ensure that UNRWA continues to operate, says Guterres.
In the statement issued on Sunday morning, Guterres also confirmed information that there were twelve UNRWA employees accused of participating in the attack against Israel. He added that nine of them were dismissed, one of them was confirmed dead, and the identity of the other two has not yet been confirmed.
Norway currently has no plans to stop support.
Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said on Saturday that the situation for the residents of Gaza is catastrophic, and UNRWA is the most important humanitarian organization there.
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