Israel Urges More Countries to Cut Financial Support to UN Agency

Israel Urges More Countries

Israel Urges More Countries, According to the Israeli foreign minister, the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees should be replaced by organizations dedicated to ‘real peace and development’ in Gaza’s reconstruction.

Israel Urges More Countries to Cut Financial Support to UN Agency

Israel Urges More Countries On Saturday, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz encouraged more countries to suspend funding the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) in response to suspicions that workers were involved in the October 7 attacks on Israel.

“UNRWA’s ties with Hamas, providing refuge for terrorists, and perpetuating its rule are undeniable,” Katz said in an interview with X.

He urged authorities to suspend UNRWA’s leadership and conduct a complete investigation into their knowledge of the actions. “In Gaza’s rebuilding, UNRWA must be replaced with agencies dedicated to genuine peace and development,” he told reporters.

Following Israel’s assertions on Friday, the US, UK, Italy, Australia, Canada, Finland, and the Netherlands voted to freeze financing for UNRWA. UNRWA stated it has terminated contracts with numerous employees over their alleged involvement in the incident.

Norway welcomed inquiries into some staff members but stated that it will continue to support Palestinians through UNRWA. Ireland also announced that it will not suspend financing for the UN body.

Despite the ICJ’s provisional ruling Friday ordering Tel Aviv to prevent acts of genocide in Gaza, Israel continued its assault on the coastal enclave, where at least 26,257 Palestinians, mostly women, and children, have been killed and 64,797 injured since October 7, according to Palestinian health officials.

According to the UN, the Israeli offensive has internally displaced 85% of Gaza’s population, resulting in acute food, clean water, and medication shortages, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed.

“Palestinians in Gaza did not need this additional collective punishment,” Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA commissioner-general, stated on X. “This stains all of us.”
The agency announced on Friday that it has launched an investigation into several workers and severed relations with them.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz urged additional donor suspensions, saying UNRWA should be replaced once the war in the enclave subsides and accused it of links to Islamist extremists in Gaza.”In Gaza’s rebuilding, @UNRWA must be replaced with agencies dedicated to genuine peace and development,” he said in a tweet.

When asked about Katz’s remarks, Deputy U.N. spokesperson Farhan Haq replied: “We are not responding to rhetoric. UNRWA has a great track record, which we have frequently emphasized.”

Lazzarini stated that the decision by the nine countries jeopardized its humanitarian operations in the region, particularly in Gaza.”It was shocking to see a suspension of funds to the Agency in reaction to allegations against a small group of staff, especially given the swift action that UNRWA took by terminating their contracts and asking for a transparent independent investigation,” according to a statement released by the organization.

The Palestinian foreign ministry decried what it called an Israeli campaign against UNRWA, while Hamas denounced the termination of staff contracts “based on information derived from the Zionist enemy”.

AGENCY PLAYS A LARGE ROLE IN GAZA AID

UNRWA was founded to assist refugees from Israel’s 1948 conflict and now provides education, health, and relief services to Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. It provides relief to around two-thirds of Gaza’s 2.3 million people and has played a critical role in Israel’s fight to destroy Hamas since the October 7 strikes.

Lazzarini announced the probe on Friday, stating that he had decided to terminate some staff members’ contracts to maintain the agency’s ability to provide humanitarian assistance. Lazzarini did not reveal the number of personnel allegedly involved in the attacks, nor the nature of their claimed participation.

He did, however, state that “any UNRWA employee who was involved in acts of terror” will be held accountable, even through criminal prosecution.
Throughout weeks of Israeli bombardment of the Palestinian enclave, UNRWA has repeatedly stated that its ability to provide humanitarian relief to people in Gaza is on the edge of collapse.

Hussein al-Sheikh, head of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), stated that withdrawing financing for the organization would pose significant political and humanitarian dangers.

“We call on countries that announced the cessation of their support for UNRWA to immediately reverse their decision,” he stated in an interview with the Foreign Ministry of Germany, a major UNRWA supporter, welcomed UNRWA’s investigation and expressed great concern over the charges leveled against agency personnel.

“We expect Lazzarini to make it clear within UNRWA’s workforce that all forms of hatred and violence are unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” it added in a statement.

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