Israeli Allegations Shake UN Agency: Tunnels Discovered and Funding Suspended

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The Israeli military has reported the discovery of tunnels beneath the main headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) for Palestinian refugees in Gaza City. 

This development is the latest in Israel’s ongoing campaign against the UN agency, accusing it of collaborating with Hamas. 

Recent Israeli claims that a dozen UNWRA staff members participated in a Hamas attack on Israel in October resulted in a financial crisis for the agency. Major donor states suspended funding, and investigations were initiated. Israel has also frozen the agency’s bank account, embargoed aid shipments, and canceled tax benefits.

While the military did not definitively prove that Hamas militants operated in the tunnels underneath the UNWRA facility, they demonstrated that at least a portion of the tunnel ran beneath the facility’s courtyard. The military claimed that the headquarters supplied the tunnels with electricity.

The UNWRA denies knowledge of the facility’s underground aspect and calls for an independent inquiry, which is currently impossible due to the ongoing conflict. The headquarters, located on the western edge of Gaza City, now lie in ruins.

Israeli Offensive Fallout

israeli-allegations-shake-un-agency-tunnels-discovered-and-funding-suspended
The Israeli military has reported the discovery of tunnels beneath the main headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) for Palestinian refugees in Gaza City.

Journalists were able to observe a room inside the UNWRA building filled with computers connected to wires leading into the ground. The military claimed that this room served as a hub powering the tunnel infrastructure in the area.

Hamas has admitted to constructing extensive tunnel networks across Gaza, which Israel aims to destroy, accusing Hamas of using them for movement and storage of fighters, weapons, and supplies. The military claims the tunnel discovered began at a UNWRA school, stretching 700 meters long and 18 meters deep.

The military also reported finding rifles, ammunition, grenades, and explosives in the facility, alleging its use by Hamas militants. UNWRA’s communications director stated that the agency had not revisited the headquarters since staff evacuated in October and is unaware of how the facility may have been used.

The Israeli offensive in Gaza, launched in response to the October attack by Hamas militants, has resulted in significant casualties, a humanitarian crisis, and widespread damage. The UNWRA facility now stands in ruins, with bullet holes, shrapnel, and crumpled U.N. vehicles scattered throughout the area.

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