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Israel suggests UN dissolve UNRWA — newspaper

According to The Guardian, the proposal was handed over to UN officials in Israel by Chief of the General Staff Herzi Halevi late last week

LONDON, March 31. /TASS/. Israel has suggested the United Nations dissolve the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and transfer its employees to another agency, The Guardian said, citing its sources.

Thus, Israel suggests that UNRWA employees be transferred to the World Food Program or a new organization that would be established to distribute food aid in Gaza, the sources said.

According to the newspaper, the proposal was handed over to UN officials in Israel by Chief of the General Staff Herzi Halevi late last week. The proposal was further referred to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

However, according The Guardian, some of the UN officials dealing with humanitarian assistance believe that only the UNRWA has enough resources and enjoys trust with the Palestinians to be able to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza and any attempts to re-establish the organization amid bombings and looming famine will have catastrophic consequences.

In late January, a number of countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Germany, announced their decision to suspend financing for the UNRWA following reports about some of the agency’s employees possibly being linked with Hamas. UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini ordered the dismissal of several agency employees due to their alleged connection to the Hamas attack on Israel last year. Later, the agency accused Israel of torturing its employees who had been taken prisoner to force them "confess" of having ties with the radical movement.

Tensions flared up again in the Middle East on October 7 after militants from the Gaza Strip-based radical Palestinian group Hamas launched a surprise incursion on Israeli territory, killing many Israeli kibbutz residents living near the Gaza border and abducting more than 240 Israelis, including women, children and the elderly. Israel declared a total blockade of the Gaza Strip and launched bombardments of the enclave and some areas in Lebanon and Syria, as well as a ground operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Clashes are also reported in the West Bank.