Despite refusing to furnish any solid evidence, Israel was already preparing the ground for refusal and refutation ahead of the report’s release.

By Binoy Kampmark, greenleft

The Israeli authorities have been found wanting on accusations that Hamas terrorists filled the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Protesting in solidarity with the people of Gaza in Perth, Western Australia.
Photo: Alex Salmon

From the outset, Israel asserted that 12 individuals in UNRWA had participated in the October 7 attacks by Hamas, sharing the sparse details on January 29 with media outlets. The grateful recipients of the alleged scandal proceeded to gorge on the thin morsel comprising a few pages. The Financial Times, for instance, wrote of Israel’s ministry of foreign affairs having “something explosive on their agenda”, even if 12 suspects from a Gaza complement of 13,000 would have barely caused a ripple in any other circumstance.

Fifteen donor governments, in a fit of stretched moral outrage, froze promised funding, insisting that investigations by the organisation be undertaken. The UN’s Office of International Oversight Services immediately commenced an investigation while US$444 million was withheld from an aid agency that has assisted dispossessed Palestinians for three-quarters of a century.

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