The IDF in the heart of Khan Yunis, and the UNRWA question

UNWRA. Wikipedia

Yesterday, the forces of the Givati Brigade under the 98th Division arrived at the central area of the city of Khan Yunis – the Al-Qadzia outpost. In this outpost, Hamas forces have trained for years, especially in preparation for the attack that was carried out on Oct. 7th. In addition, IDF forces found the main headquarters of Muhammad Sinwar, Yahya Sinwar’s brother and one of the most senior Hamas figures in the Gaza Strip since the disengagement. Sinwar was the one who caried out the capture of Gilaad Shalit in 2006, and since then he has been involved in almost all the terrorist incidents that came out of the Gaza Strip. A few weeks ago, a record of him as a passenger in a car driving in the huge tunnel that was built near the Erez Crossing was published by the IDF. Sinwar’s offices were booby-trapped, but engineers dismantled the explosives and the raid was successful. At the moment, the IDF believes that the final destruction of the Khan Yunis Brigade is a matter of days, not weeks.

In the Knesset, the ‘Yisrael Beiteinu’ party submitted a bill to establish UNRWA’s status as a terrorist organization, (the UN agency for the welfare of Palestinian refugee, after materials presented by Israel revealed that over 10 of the organization’s employees in the Gaza Strip dealt with terrorism, participated in the Oct. 7th attack and even helped kidnap Israelis. This exposure led many countries around the world to halt their funding to UNRWA, which has severely damaged its budget. Indeed, UNRWA undoubtedly has a place of honor in this war and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in general, with its actions to establish and perpetuate the status of the Palestinians as refugees being one of the main factors in the continuation of the conflict. However, the immediate disappearance of UNRWA may cause a welfare and employment vacuum that Israel will have to fill.

In accordance with these considerations, the government will convene today for a preliminary discussion about UNRWA and its role in the future of the Gaza Strip. Some ministers, such as Barkat and Shikli, expressed a desire to expel UNRWA completely from Israel and the Gaza Strip; other ministers, such as Smotrich, expressed a strong resentment that the information took so long to come out. Prime Minister Netanyahu himself has not yet expressed a position on the matter, despite past statements against the organization.

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