“I am deeply troubled by the allegations relating to some UNRWA employees,”Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s minister for international development, said in a statement on social media. “Canada unequivocally condemns the October 7th attack on Israel.”
On Friday, the U.S. — the U.N. agency’s largest donor — similarly suspended its funding after Israel provided evidence via its security services that 12 of UNRWA’s employees may have been involved in the October 7 attacks, when Hamas militants rampaged into southern Israel, killing at least 1,200 people and taking more than 250 others hostage.
“To protect the agency’s ability to deliver humanitarian assistance, I have taken the decision to immediately terminate the contracts of these staff members and launch an investigation in order to establish the truth without delay,” said Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA commissioner-general, said in a statement on Friday.
The U.N. agency, created in 1949, provides health care, education and other humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. In the wake of the October 7 attack, UNRWA used its facilities across Gaza to shelter civilians fleeing Israel’s ground offensive against Hamas militants.