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Israel’s PM calls for closure of UN Palestinian refugee agency

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Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Wednesday for the closure of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), amid allegations of some UNRWA employees’ involvement in the deadly Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7, 2023.

“The time has come for the international community and the UN itself to understand that UNRWA’s mission must be ended,” Netanyahu told UN ambassadors from eight countries who were visiting Jerusalem.

The United States and at least 10 other countries have suspended funding to UNRWA after Israel accused about “a dozen of its workers of participating in the Oct. 7 attack” that killed around 1,200 in Israel.

UNRWA employs about 13,000 people in the Palestinian Gaza Strip which has faced a humanitarian crisis since Israel’s massive airstrikes in response to the Hamas attack. The Gaza-based Health Ministry said Wednesday that the strikes killed at least 26,900 Palestinians and wounded 69,950 others.

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