AP /Khalil Hamra
UNRWA Gaza Headquarters

Three weeks ago, Israel released phone recordings of UNRWA teachers bragging about taking Israeli women hostage.

By Batya Jerenberg

Israel has decided to cut off all ties with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) over their terror ties, a government spokesman said Monday.

“UNRWA are part of the problem, and we will now stop working with them,” said David Mencer of the National Public Diplomacy Directorate, which operates out of the Prime Minister’s Office.

“We are actively phasing out the use of UNRWA because they perpetuate the conflict rather than try and alleviate the conflict,” Mencer said at a press briefing.

Jerusalem revealed in January that an investigation into the agency had found that a dozen of its staff members had taken part in Hamas’ October 7 invasion of Israel, when 1,200 people were massacred and 253 abducted into the Gaza Strip.

Last month this number was increased to 30 active participants. In addition, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced that over 10% of UNRWA employees had been found to be members of either Hamas or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror groups.

Three weeks ago, Israel released phone recordings of UNRWA teachers bragging about taking Israeli women hostage.

In response to the original report, the United States and over a dozen other countries announced their suspension of funding for the discredited agency.

While the EU, Norway and Canada have since renewed their money flow, the Americans are bypassing UNRWA in their newest humanitarian aid package and working instead with the World Food Program.

Israelis have been protesting in front of UNRWA’s Jerusalem office for weeks, demanding that the agency be thrown out of the country for aiding and abetting Hamas.

According to its critics, a huge Hamas terror tunnel recently found under the group’s Gaza headquarters and supplied with electricity and water from the building, is another proof of the agency’s complicity with terrorists.

Ordinary Israelis have also opened a legal front against UNRWA.

In early March, more than 8,000 plaintiffs, including 1,500 dual American-Israeli citizens and 6,500 Israelis, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. demanding its permanent defunding.

One of their representatives, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, who founded the Shurat HaDin—Israel Law Center that regularly takes terrorists and their state backers to court, has also demanded that Defense Minister Yoav Gallant declare UNRWA to be a terrorist organization, with all the legal consequences that such a designation implies.

“UNRWA is no longer a humanitarian agency – it has become a full-scale jihadi group,” said Darshan-Leitner, and it should be treated as such.