Skip to main content

US pauses UNRWA funding after employees accused of Oct. 7 involvement

The US paused new funding to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees while it reviews allegations that some of the organization's employees were involved in Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel.
KHAN YUNIS, GAZA - NOVEMBER 22: UNRWA distributes flour to Palestinian refugees on November 22, 2023 in Khan Yunis, Gaza. On Tuesday night, Israel and Hamas agreed to a four-day pause in fighting that would entail the release of 50 hostages, as well as the release of 150 Palestinian prisoners. But the start of the short-term truce had not been confirmed as of Wednesday morning and air strikes continued in the territory overnight.

WASHINGTON — The State Department has paused additional funding to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees while it reviews allegations that 12 of the organization’s employees took part in Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, known as UNRWA, said on Friday that it had terminated the contracts of several of its employees while it investigates their alleged involvement in Hamas’ deadly assault, in which the militants killed 1,200 people and took around 240 hostages back to the Gaza Strip. 

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said the United States is “extremely troubled” by the allegations and welcomed the UN’s announcement of a “comprehensive and independent” review of UNRWA. 

“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,” Miller said in a statement. 

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.