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Guterres: UN to punish staffers involved in 'terror,'

1 min

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres vowed on Sunday to hold to account "any U.N. employee involved in acts of terror" after allegations that some refugee agency staffers were involved in the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel.

A truck, marked with United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) logo, crosses into Egypt from Gaza, at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres vowed on Sunday to hold to account "any U.N. employee involved in acts of terror" after allegations that some refugee agency staffers were involved in the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel.

But Guterres implored governments to continue supporting the U.N. refugee agency for Palestinians (UNRWA) after nine countries paused funding.

"Any U.N. employee involved in acts of terror will be held accountable, including through criminal prosecution," the U.N. chief said in a statement. "The Secretariat is ready to cooperate with a competent authority able to prosecute the individuals in line with the Secretariat’s normal procedures for such cooperation."

At the same time, he said, "The tens of thousands of men and women who work for UNRWA, many in some of the most dangerous situations for humanitarian workers, should not be penalized. The dire needs of the desperate populations they serve must be met."

Antonio Guterres cannot ignore that UNRWA facilities have been used by terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip for over a decade.

Furthermore, many UNRWA employees are also active militants of Hamas and other movements.

This situation is known at the UN headquarters, and many foreign intelligence agencies have documented the involvement of terrorists in the operation of UNRWA.

By Michelle Nichols and Mena Today 

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