UNRWA facilities, southern Gaza
UNRWA facilities, southern GazaFlash 90

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Sunday his government is probing claims that some staff of UNRWA, the UN’s “Palestinian refugee” agency, were involved in the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel, Reuters reported.

"We're examining it, along with other like-minded countries like Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. We want that to be resolved," Albanese told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

He added that said his government wanted to make sure the accusations were "fully examined" so that all funding was "going to the purpose for which it is given".

The Prime Minister added that he did not want people "literally starving" in Gaza and "the only organization that can provide that support there is UNRWA".

The US announced last week it has temporarily paused funding to UNRWA following allegations that 12 of its employees may have been involved in Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel. It was followed by more than a dozen other countries, including Australia, as well as Germany, Britain and New Zealand.

The agency has opened an investigation into several employees and has severed ties with those people, it has said.

On Wednesday, an array of UN organizations warned of "catastrophic consequences for the people of Gaza " if key donor countries do not resume funding for UNRWA.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US ambassador to the United Nations, said on Tuesday that UNRWA plays "a critical role in providing life-saving assistance to Palestinians," but also stressed that "we need to see fundamental changes before we can resume providing funding directly" to the organization.