UNRWA facilities, southern Gaza
UNRWA facilities, southern GazaFlash 90

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres today (Monday) announced the formation of an independent investigation to look into accusations that 12 UNRWA employees took part in the Hamas massacre of October 7.

The investigative team will be led by former French foreign minister Catherine Colonna and will work together with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute in Sweden, the Chr. Michelsen Institute in Norway, and the Danish Institute for Human Rights.

The team will begin its activity on February 14 and will submit an interim report to the UN Secretary-General in March.

Over a dozen nations, including the US, have cut funding to UNRWA following the reports that UNRWA employees were complicit in the atrocities committed on October 7. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called the evidence Israel has provided against the UNRWA employees "highly credible."

Last month, UNRWA commissioner-general Philippe Lazzarini announced that the UN agency has launched an investigation into the employees who were allegedly involved in the October 7 attacks, adding it has severed ties with those staff members.

The US was followed by Canada, Australia, the UK, Finland, Germany, Scotland, the Netherlands, France, and Japan in announcing the suspension of aid to UNRWA.

Guterres and other UN officials have decried the reduction of aid to UNRWA despite the serious accusations against the organization, arguing that UNRWA is necessary in order to maintain the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli government has also stated that a significant percentage of UNRWA employees have direct ties to Hamas and other terrorist organizations and that UNRWA schools teach Gazan children to hate and kill Israelis and Jews.

According to a New York Times report, one of the UNRWA workers is accused of kidnapping a woman, another is said to have handed out ammunition and a third was described as taking part in the massacre at Kibbutz Be’eri, where 97 people were murdered.