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Employees accused of taking part in the Hamas-led 7 October attack on Israel “betrayed” the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees, the group’s Gaza chief has told Sky News.

The UK and US are among 16 countries that have suspended funding to the UN’s relief agency in Gaza (UNRWA) following Israeli accusations that 12 employees were involved in the assault.

Speaking to The World with Yalda Hakim, Tom White said he was shocked by the allegations, which led to the staff being immediately fired.

Middle East latest as Hamas submits response to proposed ceasefire

“We are very clear with our staff and it’s in the contract they sign with UNRWA that they work as humanitarians and any sort of militant activity is totally incompatible with their work,” he said.

“I’ve spoken to a large number of our staff in the last few days, Palestinian staff, and equally they are shocked by the actions of this small group.

“Essentially, they’ve betrayed the organisation, they’ve betrayed their mission as humanitarians and they’ve betrayed the Palestinians themselves and compromised this vital aid operation.”

Israel’s claims came as the country faced a genocide case at the International Court of Justice over its war on Gaza, and after years of it calling for the agency to be disbanded.

Tom White said the staff 'betrayed' the agency
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Tom White said the staff ‘betrayed’ the agency

Palestinians carry bags of flour distributed by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip January 29, 2024. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
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Palestinians carry bags of flour distributed by UNRWA. Pic: Reuters

Mr White said they share a list of staff working in Gaza with Israel every 12 months, but concerns had never been raised.

While the allegations shock Mr White, he said only a small fraction of its 13,000-strong workforce are accused and that withdrawing funds would be “absolutely catastrophic”.

“If we run out of funds, the aid operation here will collapse and that will be absolutely catastrophic for the people of Gaza,” he said, adding the agency feeds 350,000 families and administers vaccines.

He spoke the day after accusing Israel of striking a UNRWA aid convoy, which was waiting on the coastal road in Gaza for the green light from Israel to deliver aid to the north of the enclave.

The truck hit by Israeli naval gunfire, according to Tom White. Pic: Tom White via Reuters
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The truck hit by Israeli naval gunfire, according to Tom White. Pic: Tom White via Reuters

“It is exceptionally dangerous to deliver aid in Gaza,” he added.

“People in the north have not had an aid convoy with food for over 10 days.”

More than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people are now hemmed into Rafah, in the south, with Israel threatening to storm the area when it finishes a battle in Khan Younis just north of it.

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The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says 27,585 people have been killed by Israel in Gaza since 7 October, with another 66,978 wounded.

Those figures do not differentiate between civilians and fighters, while Israel says 1,200 people were killed on 7 October, with more than 200 taken hostage.

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British tourist stabbed to death outside Spanish nightclub

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British tourist stabbed to death outside Spanish nightclub

A British tourist has been stabbed to death outside a nightclub near Barcelona.

The incident happened at about 4am this morning in Calella, about 30 miles away from the city.

Police have confirmed that there was a fatality, and another person was injured and taken to hospital.

According to El Caso, there was a fight outside the Oxygen nightclub and the tourist died at the scene.

In a statement, Catalan police said it is “investigating the violent death of a 31-year-old man”.

Another man has been arrested in connection with the incident, and footage from security cameras in the area is being checked.

Sky News has contacted the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office for comment.

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Roberto Baggio: Former Italian football star robbed at gunpoint while watching Italy-Spain game

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Roberto Baggio: Former Italian football star robbed at gunpoint while watching Italy-Spain game

Retired Italian football star Roberto Baggio has been robbed at gunpoint while watching the national team play Spain at Euro 2024.

At least five armed robbers burst into Baggio’s villa near the northern city of Vicenza around 10pm local time (9pm BST) on Thursday, according to Italian media reports.

One intruder hit the 57-year-old on the head with the butt of a gun when the former player confronted them.

FILE - Italian soccer legend Roberto Baggio smiles as he attends an event at the Expo 2015 World's Fair on the occasion of the UN World Food Day in Rho, near Milan, Italy, Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. Retired Italy star Roberto Baggio was robbed at gunpoint on Thursday, June 20, 2024 at his home while watching the national team’s game against Spain at the European Championship. Italian media reports say at least five armed robbers burst into Baggio’s villa near the northern city of Vicenza around arou
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Roberto Baggio in 2015. File pic: AP

The robbers locked him and his family in a room while they stole jewellery, watches and cash during the raid, which reportedly lasted 40 minutes.

Baggio was taken to hospital and received stitches for the wound. None of his family were harmed.

Italian sports newspaper Corriere dello Sport said Baggio had a “very brief” scuffle with one of the intruders and he suffered a “deep wound” after being hit on the forehead with the weapon.

Baggio, it said, broke down the door of the room he and his family were locked in before calling police.

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He was, the paper said, “very scared”, but was not seriously hurt.

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Known as ‘The Divine Ponytail’ during his playing career, Baggio was a gifted attacking midfielder who played 56 games for Italy, scoring 27 goals and starring in the 1990 and 1994 World Cups.

Widely regarded as an all-time great, he played for Vicenza in his youth, going on to star for other Serie A clubs such as Fiorentina, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan.

Spain won Thursday night’s Euro 2024 match, beating Italy 1-0 and securing their place in the knockout stages of the tournament in Germany.

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Jay Slater: ‘Living nightmare’ hunt for missing British teenager on Tenerife continues

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Jay Slater: 'Living nightmare' hunt for missing British teenager on Tenerife continues

Helicopters, rescue dogs and drones have continued to scour the holiday island of Tenerife for a missing British teenager as concerned family and friends endure a “living nightmare”.

The hunt for 19-year-old Jay Slater from Oswaldtwistle, near Blackburn in Lancashire, is now in its fifth day.

The apprentice bricklayer was holidaying with friends on Tenerife before he disappeared on Monday.

Pic: PA
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Pic: PA

Emergency workers near the village of Masca, Tenerife.
Pic: PA
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Pic: PA

He was last heard from when he called a friend to say he was setting off on an 11-hour walk to get home, after he missed his bus.

It came as new photographs showed the property where he was last seen in the northwestern mountain village of Masca after attending the NRG music festival.

In a post on the Facebook page “Jay Slater Missing”, the administrator of the group Rachel Louise Harg said family and friends were “drained beyond words”.

She said: “There isn’t an update for anyone unfortunately.

“Struggling to find words at this time but all I can say is we are looking still and everyone is doing all they can.

“We are drained beyond words – I just can’t say no more, I wish I could.

“I wish this would end now, this living nightmare.

“Searches are ongoing and we remain positive.

“Thanks to you all supporting and helping we can’t thank you any more, much love.”

Read more on Sky News:
British tourist stabbed to death outside nightclub
Italian football legend robbed at gunpoint

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Pic: PA

Pic: PA
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Pic: PA

On Friday, search and rescue personnel joined officers from the island’s Guardia Civil near Masca to comb an area of overgrown terrain.

Teams also paid close attention to a river called Barranco Madre del Agua at the bottom of a ravine, where emergency workers carefully picked their way through fallen dead palm trees.

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Mr Slater’s friend Lucy Law, who attended the music festival with him, said he called her at about 8.30am on Monday and told her he was “lost in the mountains, he wasn’t aware of his surroundings, he desperately needed a drink and his phone was on 1%”.

Meanwhile, members of the local community rallied together at a church service in his home town to express their hope of his safe return.

A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesman said: “We are supporting the family of a British man who has been reported missing in Spain and are in contact with the local authorities.”

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