US Intel Has ‘Low Confidence’ in Israeli Claim a Dozen UN Staff Participated in Hamas Attack

The Washington Post claims to have independently verified that a single UNRWA employee took part in the October 7 attack on Israel

The US and several other Western countries cut funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) after Israel claimed that several members of the organization participated in the Hamas attack on October 7. The US intelligence community has “low confidence” in the veracity of the Israeli assertions. The Washington Post reports having evidence of a single UNRWA member in Israel.

In January, Tel Aviv began circulating the claim that 12 members of UNRWA attacked Israel on October 7 and that scores of other members have ties to Hamas. The release of the claims was timed with the International Court of Justice ruling that Israel was plausibly committing genocide in Gaza.

Earlier this month, Tel Aviv released a summary of its intelligence for the assertions to several news outlets. After reviewing the Israeli dossier, multiple outlets reported that Israel had provided no evidence to back the claims that members of UNRWA are aligned with Hamas.

Still, Washington and several other top donors to UNRWA backed Tel Aviv’s allegations and cut funding to the agency. Secretary of State Antony Blinken described the claims as “highly, highly credible.”

UNRWA is the most crucial aid organization to deliver aid to Gaza and prevent the famine from getting worse. In Gaza, one in six children is on the verge of starvation.

The government in Tel Aviv maintains significant power and oversight over UNRWA. The organization provides Israel with a list of all employees annually, and Tel Aviv can demand that UNRWA sever ties with any of its staff.

On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that a US intelligence assessment concluded it had “low confidence” in the Israeli claims. The intel assessment did not dispute all the Israeli claims, “but it provides a more measured appraisal of Israel’s assertions than public statements by US and Israeli officials,” according to the Journal.

Last week, the Washington Post reported obtaining a video that showed one UNRWA social worker in southern Israel on October 7 and who was seen loading the body of an Israeli into a vehicle. The Post reports matching photos from social media of the UNRWA staff member and his vehicle to CCTV footage from southern Israel.

While Washington often accepts all Israeli claims of crimes committed by Palestinians, the White House ignores even well-documented reports of Israeli war crimes in Gaza. Recently, the UN found several credible reports of Israeli forces committing rampant executions and sexual abuse of Palestinian women and girls. The Biden administration has claimed that it must support Israel because of the alleged sexual crimes of Hamas but will not curb weapons shipments to Tel Aviv when Israeli forces are reported committing similar offenses.

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.