Britain, Italy and Finland on January 27 grew to become the most recent nations to pause funding for the United Nations’ refugee company for Palestinians (UNRWA), following allegations its employees have been concerned within the October 7 Hamas assaults on Israel.
Set as much as assist refugees of the 1948 struggle at Israel’s founding, UNRWA supplies training, well being and help companies to Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. It helps about two thirds of Gaza’s 2.3 million inhabitants and has performed a pivotal help function throughout the present struggle.
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The United States, Australia and Canada had already paused funding to the help company after Israel stated 12 UNRWA workers have been concerned within the cross-border assault. The company has opened an investigation into a number of workers severed ties with them.
The Palestinian international ministry criticised what it described as an Israeli marketing campaign in opposition to UNRWA, and the Hamas militant group condemned the termination of worker contracts “based on information derived from the Zionist enemy.”
The UK Foreign Office stated it was briefly pausing funding for UNRWA whereas the accusations have been reviewed and famous London had condemned the October 7 assaults as “heinous” terrorism.
“The Italian government has suspended financing of the UNRWA after the atrocious attack on Israel on October 7,” Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani stated on social media platform X.
Finland additionally stated it suspended funding.
Hussein al-Sheikh, head of the Palestinians’ umbrella political physique the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), stated chopping assist introduced main political and aid dangers.
“We call on countries that announced the cessation of their support for UNRWA to immediately reverse their decision,” he stated on X.