UK Suspends Aid Allocation to Primary UN Agency Supporting Palestinian Refugees

UK Suspends Aid Allocation to Primary UN Agency Supporting Palestinian Refugees

UK Aid, UNRWA, Palestinian Refugees, Hamas Attacks, Israel, Funding Suspension, Humanitarian Aid, Gaza

In line with the US stance, the UK has decided to suspend its monetary assistance to the UN's chief agency aiding Palestinian refugees, following accusations of agency staff participating in attacks on Israel the previous year.

The UK Government has declared a temporary halt to its funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), following allegations of UNRWA staffers being involved in the Hamas-led attacks on Israel on October 7 last year. This decision aligns the UK with the US, Canada, Italy, and Australia, who have similarly suspended their funding to the agency pending further investigation into the allegations.

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) expressed their harsh condemnation of the alleged terrorist act on Israel, and stated their continued commitment to providing humanitarian aid to those in dire need in Gaza. They further expressed their shock at the potential involvement of UNRWA personnel in the incident.

In light of these allegations, UNRWA initiated an investigation into the accused staff members' involvement in the attacks on October 7. The agency severed ties with the implicated staff, as stated by Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA’s commissioner general. Lazzarini confirmed that Israeli authorities had provided information regarding the alleged involvement of several UNRWA employees in the attacks.

According to reports, the investigation has been initiated based on information provided by Israeli intelligence services, who claim to have evidence suggesting the utilization of UNRWA vehicles and facilities during the attack on October 7. 

UNRWA has been facing criticism since the inception of the conflict, with Israeli officials accusing the agency of collusion with Hamas. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others have alleged that UNRWA is stoking anti-Israeli sentiments, a claim the agency denies.

UN Secretary General, António Guterres, expressed his dismay over the allegations through his spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric. Established after the first Arab-Israeli war in 1949, UNRWA provides essential services such as education, primary healthcare, and humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon."

News Agencies

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