No terrorism proof found at UN agency for Palestinians: Report

An independent review group on the U.N. agency for Palestinians noted Israel had yet to provide evidence for incendiary allegations that staff were members of terrorist organizations.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) remains "irreplaceable and indispensable to Palestinians' human and economic development" added the 54-page report, which was led by French diplomat Catherine Colonna.

The review group was created following allegations made by Israel in January that some UNRWA staff may have participated in the Oct. 7, 2023 Hamas attacks. In the weeks that followed, numerous donor states suspended or paused some $450 million in funding.

Many have since resumed funding, including Sweden, Canada, Japan, the EU and France — while others, including the United States and Britain — have not.

Congress passed a bill signed into law by President Joe Biden last month that blocks U.S. funding until March 2025.

The freezes to the main aid agency in Gaza come as months of Israeli military operations have turned the territory into a "humanitarian hellscape," U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said recently, with its 2.3 million people in desperate need of food, water, shelter and medicine.

Colonna's team was tasked with assessing whether UNRWA was "doing everything within its power to ensure neutrality," while Guterres activated a second investigation to probe Israel's allegations.

Despite a framework for ensuring it upheld the humanitarian principle of neutrality, the review found that "neutrality-related issues persist," including staff sharing biased political posts on social media and the use of a small number of textbooks with "problematic content" in some UNRWA schools.

But it added "Israel has yet...

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