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An unbiased evaluate of the neutrality of the UN company serving to Palestinian refugees discovered that Israel by no means expressed concern about anybody on the employees lists it has obtained yearly since 2011.

The evaluate was carried out after Israel alleged {that a} dozen workers of the company often known as UNRWA had participated in Hamas’ October 7 assaults.

In a wide-ranging 48-page report, the unbiased panel mentioned UNRWA has “sturdy” procedures to uphold the UN precept of neutrality, but it surely cited severe gaps in implementation, together with employees publicly expressing political opinions, textbooks utilized in faculties the company runs with “problematic content material” and employees unions disrupting operations.

Palestinians try to extinguish a fire at a building of an UNRWA vocational training centre which displaced people use as a shelter, in January.

Palestinians attempt to extinguish a fireplace at a constructing of an UNRWA vocational coaching centre which displaced individuals use as a shelter, in January.Credit score: AP

It makes 50 suggestions to enhance UNRWA’s neutrality.

From 2017 to 2022, the report mentioned, the annual variety of allegations of neutrality being breached at UNRWA ranged from seven to 55. However between January 2022 and February 2024, UN investigators obtained 151 allegations, most associated to social media posts “made public by exterior sources,” it mentioned.

In a key part on the neutrality of employees, the panel, which was led by former French International Minister Catherine Colonna, mentioned UNRWA shares lists of employees with host nations for its 32,000 employees, together with about 13,000 in Gaza.

But it surely mentioned Israeli officers by no means expressed concern and knowledgeable panel members it didn’t contemplate the record “a screening or vetting course of” however relatively a process to register diplomats.

The Israeli International Ministry knowledgeable the panel that till March 2024 the employees lists didn’t embrace Palestinian identification numbers, the report mentioned.

Apparently based mostly on these numbers, “Israel made public claims {that a} vital variety of UNRWA workers are members of terrorist organizations,” the panel mentioned.

“Nonetheless, Israel has but to supply supporting proof of this” to the refugee company.

Colonna harassed that UN Secretary-Basic Antonio Guterres appointed the unbiased evaluate panel to evaluate UNRWA’s neutrality — to not examine Israeli allegations that 12 UNRWA staffers participated within the Oct. 7 assaults.

Guterres ordered the UN inner watchdog, the Workplace of Inside Oversight Companies, often known as OIOS, to conduct a separate investigation into these Israeli allegations.


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