full screen Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN refugee agency UNRWA. Archive image. Photo: Salvatore Di Nolfi/AP/TT
Nine staff at UN refugee agency UNRWA were fired after Israel accused them of complicity in the October 7 Hamas terror attacks – despite a lack of evidence.
– I could have suspended them, but I have fired them, says Unrwa’s head Philippe Lazzarini at a press conference, according to The Guardian.
– An investigation is now underway, and if the investigation shows that this was wrong, then we at the UN will make a decision on how to compensate them appropriately, he says further.
The “exceptional and quick decision” was made because of the risk that the Israeli accusations would affect the organization’s ability to operate in Gaza, according to Lazzarini.
– My judgement, based on this going public, true or false, was that I needed to make the quickest and boldest decision to show that we as an agency take this allegation seriously.
Due to Israel’s accusations, several countries, including the United States and Sweden, have announced that they are pausing their support for the UN body.