UNITED NATIONS: UN chief Antonio Guterres pleaded on Saturday (Jan 27) for donor states to “assure the continuity” of the physique’s Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) after a number of halted funding over accusations of staff involvement in Hamas’ Oct 7 attack on Israel.
“Whereas I perceive their issues – I used to be myself horrified by these accusations – I strongly attraction to the governments which have suspended their contributions to, a minimum of, assure the continuity of UNRWA’s operations,” Guterres mentioned in a press release, referring to the company’s acronym.
Israel has alleged a number of UNRWA workers had been concerned in Hamas’ assault, main some key donor nations to droop their funding.
UNRWA fired a number of workers over Israel’s accusations, promising a radical investigation into the claims, which weren’t specified, whereas Israel vowed to cease the company’s work in Gaza after the battle.
The row between Israel and UNRWA follows the UN’s Worldwide Courtroom of Justice ruling on Friday that Israel should forestall attainable acts of genocide within the battle and permit extra help into Gaza.
“The abhorrent alleged acts of those workers members will need to have penalties,” Guterres mentioned.
“However the tens of 1000’s of women and men who work for UNRWA, many in a few of the most harmful conditions for humanitarian employees, shouldn’t be penalised,” he added.
“The dire wants of the determined populations they serve have to be met.”
Guterres confirmed that 12 UNRWA staff had been cited within the accusations, which the United Nations is investigating.
9 have been fired, one is lifeless, and the “the identification of the 2 others is being clarified,” he mentioned.
A number of key donor nations to UNRWA have mentioned they’ll quickly droop their present or future following accusations, together with america, Britain, Canada and Switzerland.
Hamas slammed Israeli “threats” in opposition to UNRWA on Saturday, urging the UN and different worldwide organizations to not “collapse to the threats and blackmail”.
The group’s Oct 7 assault resulted in about 1,140 deaths in Israel, largely civilians, based on an AFP tally of official figures.
Militants additionally seized about 250 hostages and Israel says round 132 of them stay in Gaza, together with the our bodies of a minimum of 28 lifeless captives.
Israel’s army offensive, which started in late October, has killed a minimum of 26,257 individuals, most of them ladies and youngsters, based on Gaza’s well being ministry.