Israel Ceases Automatic Visas to UN Employees Amid Concerns of Hamas Connections

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Israel’s decision to halt automatic visas for United Nations workers has sparked a tense standoff, with accusations of UN collaboration with Hamas and intensified clashes in Gaza.

Eylon Levy, a government spokesman, declared Israel’s move to cease blanket approvals for UN staff, shifting to meticulous case-by-case scrutiny of visa applications. This decision, arising from suspicions that some UN personnel are allegedly supporting Hamas, reflects escalating tensions between Israel and the UN.

Levy criticized the UN for allegedly shielding Hamas and casting blame on Israel during the recent Gaza ground operation triggered by an attack on southern Israel by Hamas. 

The UN’s statements drew severe criticism from Israel, prompting calls for the resignation of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Israel’s Foreign Minister, Eli Cohen, expressed dissatisfaction, highlighting what he deemed as the UN’s biased stance post-Hamas attack, condemning it as a “disgrace.” Cohen’s vocal critique led to specific visa denials for unnamed UN employees.

Israel’s Visa Policy Shift for UN Workers

israel-ceases-automatic-visas-to-un-employees-amid-concerns-of-hamas-connections
Israel’s decision to halt automatic visas for United Nations workers has sparked a tense standoff, with accusations of UN collaboration with Hamas and intensified clashes in Gaza.

To discredit the UN further, Israel’s Defense Forces (IDF) released a purported phone call recording between an IDF officer and an unnamed Gaza resident, alleging collaboration between the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and Hamas. 

However, the circumstances surrounding the call and the resident’s knowledge about UNRWA’s workings remain unclear.

Amid these developments, reports emerged suggesting Hamas may be holding Israeli hostages in central and southern Gaza. The IDF expanded its operations in densely populated areas, including refugee camps, leading to intensified clashes. 

Multiple air strikes and shelling incidents were reported, including a strike near El Amal hospital in Khan Younis that claimed the lives of at least 20 people, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

This escalation in hostilities, coupled with Israel’s visa policy shift for UN workers and allegations of UN-Hamas collaboration, underscores the complexity and volatility of the situation in the region, raising concerns about civilian casualties and exacerbating tensions between Israel and international bodies like the UN.

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