Britain, Italy, Finland halt funding to UN refugee agency amid Gaza war after Hamas attack allegations

 – Gudstory

Britain, Italy, Finland halt funding to UN refugee agency amid Gaza war after Hamas attack allegations – Gudstory

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Britain, Italy and Finland on Saturday became the latest countries to halt funding to the United Nations refugee agency for Palestinians (UNRWA) over allegations that its staff were involved in Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7.

Established to help refugees of the 1948 war at the time of Israel’s establishment, UNRWA provides education, health and aid services to Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. It serves about two-thirds of Gaza’s 2.3 million population and has played a vital aid role during the current war.

The United States, Australia and Canada had already halted funding to the aid agency after Israel said 12 UNRWA staff were involved in the cross-border attack. The agency has started an investigation into the break with several employees.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry criticized what it described as an Israeli campaign against UNRWA, and the Hamas terrorist group condemned the termination of employee contracts “based on information received from the Zionist enemy.”

The UK Foreign Office said it was temporarily halting funding for UNRWA while the allegations were reviewed and said London had condemned the 7 October attacks as “heinous” terrorism.

Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani on social media platform

Finland also said it had suspended funding.

Hussein al-Sheikh, head of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Palestinians’ umbrella political body, said the cut in support posed major political and relief risks.

“We call on countries that have announced they will end their support for UNRWA to immediately withdraw their decisions,” he said on X.

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This story is published from a wire agency feed without any modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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Published: 27 January 2024, 09:14 PM IST


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