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The Israeli foreign ministry has called for the resignation of Philippe Lazzarini, the commissioner in charge of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), amid allegations that a dozen of its employees joined the Hamas terror group during its brutal attack in Israel on Oct. 7.
In a post on X Monday, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz urged Lazzarini to resign over the allegations. He also said the Israeli ministry would no longer be meeting with the UNRWA.
“I have just canceled the meetings of UNRWA head, Lazzarini, with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Israel on Wednesday,” he wrote. “UNRWA employees participated in the massacre of October 7.”
In the same post, Katz added, “Lazzarini should draw conclusions and resign. Supporters of terrorism are not welcome here.”
ISRAEL SHARES DOSSIER SPELLING OUT ALLEGATIONS AGAINST 12 UN EMPLOYEES ALLEGEDLY INVOLVED IN HAMAS ATTACK
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini looks on during a press conference in Geneva on Jan. 24, 2023. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
The post comes after Israel accused the employees of supporting Hamas and then sent a dossier to the Biden administration that included information regarding which U.N. employees were involved, where they worked and what specific actions they allegedly took to assist the terror group.
The dossier specifically identified 12 UNRWA employees, seven of whom crossed into Israel on Oct. 7 while the others were accused of “participating in a terror activity” in another capacity.
The document says two employees specifically joined Hamas terrorists in raiding an Israeli kibbutz. These two directly participated in the violence, Israel contends, during the attack that left more than 1,200 Israelis dead.
According to Israel’s dossier, which Fox News Digital obtained, another two staffers were involved in kidnapping an Israeli woman and keeping her hostage in a home. Another U.N. staffer is alleged to have doled out ammunition to the Hamas terrorists while others coordinated vehicle movements for the terror group.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the individuals who were alleged to have been involved in the attack are no longer employed by the agency.
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“Of the 12 people implicated, nine were immediately identified and terminated by the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini; one is confirmed dead, and the identity of the two others is being clarified,” said Guterres.
Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz called for the resignation of UNRWA head, Philippe Lazzarini. (Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu via Getty Images)
The allegations have stoked tensions between UNRWA and Israel, which regularly says Hamas uses the agency’s facilities to store weapons. UNRWA claims it has safeguards to prevent such abuses and disciplines any wrongdoing accordingly.
UNRWA regularly provides basic services for Palestinian families. However, after the allegations surfaced, 12 countries who make payments to the U.N. agency have paused their support.
A bicycle was targeted, and two young Palestinian militants were killed near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel on Oct. 7, 2023 in Gaza. The Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a missile attack on Israel today, with fighters simultaneously crossing the border from Gaza. Israel has declared a state of war. (Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images)
These countries include the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, Finland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, Japan and Austria.
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They made up about 60% of UNRWA’s budget in 2022, the most recent year that data is available.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.