After allegations of involvement of United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) staff in the 7 October terror attacks, six European nations suspended their funding to the UN agency.
Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Finland, aligned with the United States, Australia, and Canada in withholding funds from the key UN agency, a critical source of support for Gaza's populace.
The agency said had said that it opened an investigation into several employees and severed ties with those people.
“The Israeli Authorities have provided UNRWA with information about the alleged involvement of several UNRWA employees in the horrific attacks on Israel on 7 October," said Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner-general of the UNRWA.
“To protect the Agency’s ability to deliver humanitarian assistance, I have taken the decision to immediately terminate the contracts of these staff members and launch an investigation in order to establish the truth without delay. Any UNRWA employee who was involved in acts of terror will be held accountable, including through criminal prosecution," he added.
UNRWA was set up to help refugees of the 1948 war at Israel’s founding and provides education, health and aid services to Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.
Meanwhile, Israel has urged more countries to suspend funding of the UN agency, which the Tel Aviv has accused in the past of having ties with Palestinian terror outfit Hamas.
Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz said on Saturday (27 October) that UNRWA should be replaced once fighting in the enclave ends and accused the agency of ties to Islamist terrorists in Gaza.
He also called for dismissal of the UN agency's leadership.
"The leadership of UNRWA should be dismissed and thoroughly investigated for their knowledge of these activities. In Gaza's rebuilding, UNRWA must be replaced with agencies dedicated to genuine peace and development,” he added in a post on X.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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