Israel had provided information to the UN aid agency that claimed 12 of its personnel were involved in the brutal attack by Hamas. According to UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini, the victims' contracts have been terminated and an investigation has been launched. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wants the aid system to be “immediately and comprehensively” reviewed. The UN did not initially say how the staff may have been involved in the massacre.
Immediately after the allegations became known, the United States suspended funding to UNRWA, followed by Canada and Australia. Italy also joined the move: its country is committed to providing humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people, while “protecting Israel's security,” Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said. On Saturday, Great Britain, Germany and Finland announced a temporary tariff freeze.
“Until further clarification, Germany, in coordination with other donor countries, will temporarily not allow any new funding for UNWRA in Gaza,” the German foreign and development ministries announced in Berlin on Saturday evening. However, it said there are no new commitments pending at this time.
Austria is also a donor
Donors include Austria and other EU countries. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BMEIA) reported on Friday: “The Austrian contribution to UNRWA is divided into project-related contributions of 400,000 euros per year and three million euros per year for a health project.” Current developments – report further spread
Hamas spoke about Israel's smear campaign against international organizations that help Palestinians. The “unscrupulous Nazi corporation” is trying to “cut off all the lifeblood of our people.” He called on the United Nations and other international organizations not to give in to Israel's “threats and threats.”
Stopping funding for UNRWA poses major political and humanitarian risks, wrote Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary-General Hussein al-Sheikh, who “must reverse their decision immediately”.
Israel has called for the withdrawal of UNRWA
For Israel, on the other hand, the reactions did not go far enough. His government wanted to ensure that UNRWA would no longer play a role in the Palestinian territories after the end of the war in the Gaza Strip, wrote Foreign Minister Israel Katz, and supported terrorism. He did not provide any evidence for this.
UNRWA chief Lazzarini described the attacks on October 7 last year as despicable. Terrorists from Hamas and other extremist Palestinian groups killed about 1,140 people in Israel. They deported about 250 people to the Gaza Strip. Israel responded with massive airstrikes and ground attacks. More than 26,000 people have been killed so far, according to the Hamas-controlled health authority.
Founded in 1949, UNRWA provides humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. The aid agency has repeatedly said its operations in the Gaza Strip are on the verge of collapse due to overcrowding.