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Four Western Countries Suspend Their Funding to UNRWA, which Hamas Condemns

On Saturday 27 of January, Italy, Canada, and Australia announced the suspension of their funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) after the United States took the same step, following Israeli allegations of the participation of some of the agency’s employees in the Al-Aqsa Flood operation carried out by the Palestinian resistance.

While the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) condemned what it described as "the Israeli campaign of incitement against international institutions."

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Taiani posted on the “X” platform that the Italian government suspended funding for UNRWA after what he described as a “brutal attack” on Israel last October 7, indicating that some of Rome’s allies had already taken the same decision.

According to the Canadian National Post website, the decision was in the wake of the US government’s announcement, on Friday, that it will immediately stop funding UNRWA, following “evidence” presented by the Israeli government this week, which claimed that 12 of the agency’s employees participated in Hamas attacks.

Following accusations of staff involvement in an attack, Australia and Canada have temporarily halted funding for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).

Australia's Foreign Minister cited "deep concern" and announced a suspension of payments while consultations with partners occur. She commended UNRWA's swift actions in firing implicated employees and launching an investigation.

Similarly, Canada's Development Minister stated they've paused additional funding pending a thorough investigation. He emphasised the seriousness of the accusations and ongoing engagement with UNRWA and other donors.

Canada is deeply concerned about the accusations and is actively working with UNRWA and other donors to address them.,” he wrote on X.

Yesterday, Friday, the United States announced a “temporary suspension” of all future funding to this UN agency, which is at the heart of distributing aid to civilians in Gaza amid the raging war waged by the Israeli army on the Strip.

On the other hand, Hamas said in a statement that it strongly condemns the Israeli campaign of incitement against United Nations institutions, which contribute to providing relief to the Palestinian people who are being subjected to genocide.

Added that the latest incitement campaign is a hollow accusation against the World Health Organization, and they also reminded him of collusion with the Hamas movement by repeating an untrue statement that Hamas use hospitals in military operations.

Also added that the incitement against UNRWA comes "with the aim of cutting off its funding and depriving the Palestinian people of their right to the services of these international agencies."

On January 26rd, the World Health Organization denied the accusations levelled against it by Israel of “collusion” with Hamas during the aggression on the Gaza Strip.

In the same context, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said today that his country would seek to prevent UNRWA from operating in the Gaza Strip after the end of the war, after Tel Aviv accused UN agency staff of participating in the attack on Gaza on October 7, 2023.

Edited by Chloe Mansola

Launch of the 2017 UNRWA Emergency Response by UN Geneva is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED


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