War in the Middle East: New allegations against UNRWA

DThe massacre by the Islamist Hamas in Israel, the UN. The alleged corruption involving some staff of the Palestine Relief Agency is becoming increasingly widespread. Ten percent of the 12,000 UNRWA aid workers working in the Gaza Strip have ties to Hamas or Islamic Jihad, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing an Israeli intelligence document.

Meanwhile, talks on a new ceasefire in the Gaza war and the release of more hostages are expected to continue this week. While Washington has so far remained cautiously optimistic, Hamas said on Monday evening it would not accept any deal that does not end the war and withdraw all Israeli troops from Gaza, according to Israeli media reports.

Blink: UNRWA is essential

The indictment of 12 UNRWA staff allegedly involved in the killing by Hamas has sparked worldwide outrage. In response, several countries, including Germany, the United States, Great Britain and France, temporarily suspended aid payments. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken again called for a quick explanation. The aid agency “plays an absolutely essential role in making sure that the men, women and children who urgently need help in Gaza actually get it,” Blinken said in Washington on Monday.

The UN aid agency fired the staff and wants to investigate the allegations. “UNRWA's problem is not just 'a few bad apples' involved in the October 7 massacre,” the Wall Street Journal quoted a senior Israeli government official as saying. “The institution as a whole is a haven for the radical ideology of Hamas,” the official said. Israel's ambassador to Germany, Ron Prosser, also described the charges against the twelve employees as “the tip of the iceberg”. Prosor in FAZ criticized the aid system as “spreading insurgency and thwarting efforts at peace”.

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America: Does not want war with Iran

Meanwhile, the US government has made it clear it will not seek conflict with Iran after a deadly attack by pro-Iranian militias on US military personnel in Jordan. “We're not looking for war with Iran. We're not seeking conflict with the regime through military means,” National Security Council communications director John Kirby said Monday in Washington. They don't want another war or escalation. We will do whatever it takes to give.”

On Sunday, three US soldiers were killed in a drone attack by Iranian-backed militias in Jordan near the Syrian border. President Joe Biden blamed “radical pro-Iranian militant groups” for the attack and threatened retaliation. According to the Wall Street Journal, US government officials have said they are considering military strikes against militants in Iraq, Syria and Iran. However, it said the possibility of an attack on Iranian soil is unlikely.

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