Last month, Israel briefly opened the Erez Crossing that leads into Israel from Gaza—which had been temporarily closed for the holiday of Sukkot—to allow employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) to leave. The emergency evacuation was necessary because these non-Palestinian staffers had been receiving death threats ever since the U.S. withdrew its funding for the organization. Alex Joffe and Asaf Romirowsky explain:
The majority of [UNRWA’s] approximately 30,000 employees are Palestinian. The few hundred others employed by the agency are overwhelmingly pro-Palestinian. It is rare that any employee has dared to break the code of silence regarding UNRWA’s alleged indispensability or its internal affairs. It is a demonstration of where the power lies that international employees have become the pawns that can be sacrificed.
To UNRWA’s Palestinian employees, their foreign coworkers are somehow representatives of the international system. The U.S., under this system, is simultaneously hated and expected to provide funding in perpetuity. . . .
UNRWA’s international employees, who were threatened by their local counterparts, were not going to speak publicly about its frequent hiring of terrorists and about Hamas’s use of UNRWA facilities. But they were driven out anyway, apparently because they had failed in their primary task: to ensure the continued flow of funds.