Israel is considering possible replacements for UNRWA in Gaza after at least 12 of its staff were found to have actively participated or assisted in the October 7 massacre. Israel believes 10% of all UNRWA employees are affiliated with the terror group Hamas.
The World Food Program is seen as the most probable option and has already been receiving funds from a number of countries. The option that would see the organization step in to fulfil the UNRWA’s role is subject to the agreement of its leadership.
Another option raised is USAID, which had been operating in the Strip in a limited capacity. Israel was considering expanding its operations, subject to U.S. approval.
Other groups are also being looked at to respond to the needs of civilian health and education, and countries which could provide humanitarian shelter for Gazan’s have been discussed.
The Foreign Ministry is considering all options so that UNRWA is not part of post-war Gaza and a dedicated team was assembled last week to consider possible solutions that could be presented to the government and the Security Cabinet.
Foreign Minister Israel Katz refused to meet with UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini and instructed his staff also to refuse any meetings. He also called for Lazzarini’s dismissal in the wake of his staff’s complicity in the Hamas atrocities.