UNRWA Could Shut Down by End of February Without Funding

    UNRWA Could Shut Down by End of February Without Funding
    Photo: Ahmad Hasaballah/Stringer/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said on Thursday that it would most likely have to end its operations in the Middle East, including in Gaza, by the end of February if international funding — which was cut following Israeli accusations that UNRWA staff participated in Hamas' Oct. 7 attack — doesn't resume.

    • Israel has shared intelligence with foreign governments alleging that four UNRWA employees were involved in kidnapping Israelis and another worker provided "logistics support," further claiming that 10% of its staff are active militants. The UNRWA said that it had terminated the contracts of the accused staff and ordered an investigation.

    The Spin

    Pro-Palestine narrative

    Though Palestinians have many issues with the UNRWA, the US and Israel-led campaign to demonize the agency as Gaza's humanitarian situation deteriorates even further is immoral and cruel. Even if Israel's unfounded allegations are true, the number of employees implicated would not be nearly enough to warrant suspending the agency's funding, which is essential to providing basic amenities to displaced Palestinians. Targeting the UNRWA is a form of collective punishment that will only hurt innocent civilians.

    Pro-Israel narrative

    There is no question that the UNRWA has been at least partially complicit in Hamas's atrocious actions. Hamas is an authoritarian terrorist group, and no organization can operate in Gaza without the group's approval and cooperation. Since its establishment, the UNRWA has created false hope among Palestinians that one day Israel will cease to exist, and a comprehensive review of the agency and its purpose is long overdue.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 51% chance that at least 500K Palestinians will be displaced from Gaza before Dec. 31, 2025, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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