Ramallah, Jan 28 (IANS) A senior Palestinian official has urged countries that have announced the suspension of support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) to reconsider their decisions to avoid political and humanitarian risks.
Hussein Al-Sheikh, secretary-general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said on the social media platform X on Saturday that “especially at this time, amid the ongoing aggression against the Palestinian people, we are in desperate need of support from this international organization”.
The US and Canada on Friday announced a temporary suspension of their new funding for the UNRWA after Israel accused some of the UN agency’s employees of participating in the attack launched by Hamas on southern Israel on October 7, 2023, Xinhua news agency reported.
In a statement posted on his X account, Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz praised the US and Canada’s decisions to pause funding for the UN agency, saying, “We commend the US administration’s decision to halt funding for the UNRWA after it became clear that some of its employees were involved in the heinous massacre (Hamas attack) that occurred on October 7 last year.”
On Saturday, Australia announced that it would join the US and Canada in pausing the funding for the UNRWA. Later in the day, UK also announced to pause its funding to the UN aid agency.
The UNRWA, established as a subsidiary organ of the UN General Assembly in 1949, serves to support the relief and human development of Palestinian refugees and is entrusted with the mission of providing humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestinian refugees in the agency’s operational areas until a just and lasting solution to their plight is achieved.