Israel Says It Discovered Hamas Tunnel Under UNRWA HQ: Israeli Minister Demands Its Chairman Resign

The Israeli foreign minister on Saturday called on the UN for Palestinian refugees. The organization's leader deemed it “compulsory” to resign immediately after a Hamas tunnel was discovered under Anrwa's headquarters in Gaza, according to the military.

“UNRWA headquarters in Gaza found deep involvement with Hamas, particularly its use for terrorist activities and an entry point for the Palestinian Islamist movement's tunnels” “requiring immediate action,” said Israel Katz at X.

UN He said the “immediate resignation” of the organization's president, Filipe Lazzarini, was “essential.”

UNRWA, which Israel accuses of being “totally infiltrated by Hamas,” is the main humanitarian aid organization in the Gaza Strip, which is in the grip of a severe humanitarian crisis due to the fighting triggered by Hamas' attack on Israel in October. 7.

The UN agency insisted that Hamas had not occupied its headquarters since October 12 – five days after the attack – and demanded an independent investigation.

According to the Israeli military and the Shin Bet (Internal Security Service), military operations in Gaza City in recent weeks have uncovered a “tunnel entrance” near a school run by a UN humanitarian agency.

According to Israel, over the past ten years, Hamas has dug numerous mines in the Gaza Strip where its fighters are hiding. In October, a study by the Modern War Institute of the American Academy at West Point identified 1,300 mines there along more than 500 km of underground corridors.

“The entrance led to an underground terror tunnel that was an important Hamas military intelligence asset and went under a building that served as UNRWA's main headquarters in the Gaza Strip,” the Israeli military and Shin Bet said in a statement.

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The tunnel's “electrical structure” – 700 meters long and located 18 meters underground – was “connected” to the agency's headquarters, they say, “indicating that ANRWA installations supplied electricity to the tunnel”.

An AFP photographer was among a group of journalists escorted by the Israeli army into the building and tunnel on Thursday.

The military and Shin Bet say the documents and stockpile of weapons at the UN compound “confirmed that the offices were also used by Hamas terrorists”.

On that day

“We have not used this building since we left it and we are not aware of any activity that took place there,” he added.

The UN said Israel's allegations “deserve an independent investigation”. The head of the organization underlined.

Israel recently accused UNRWA of having 12 of its 13,000 staff in the Gaza Strip involved in Hamas attacks. He also vowed last week to prove “UNRWA links to terrorism”.

An internal UN investigation is underway into UNRWA staff implicated by breakaway Israel, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed an independent commission to assess the agency's “neutrality”.

In response to Israel's accusations, more than a dozen countries, including major donors such as the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and Sweden, announced they were ending their funding to UNRWA.

An unprecedented attack by Palestinian Hamas commandos on October 7 killed 1,160 people in Israel, the majority civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli data.

According to the latest Hamas statement on Saturday, more than 28,000 people, mostly women, youth and children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since the war began.

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