Israel-Hamas war and Gaza fighting: Latest news

UN officials and some donor countries support Palestinians after an investigation found that Israel had not provided evidence to support claims that many of its staff were members of terrorist organizations. It reiterates its call to restore funding to key UN agencies.

In January, more than 10 countries, including the U.S., announced that UNRWA was involved in the attack after Israel said 12 personnel had participated in the October 7 Hamas-led attack or its aftermath, one of which it claimed was from UNRWA. funding to the agency, known as the . Ten of the Gaza personnel were members of Hamas or its ally Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The United Nations had commissioned an independent review of the agency. in January, before Israel aired its claims, but those charges lend added weight to the investigation, the findings of which were announced on Monday. The report issued a series of recommendations for the agency to protect its neutrality, but noted that “Israel has yet to provide supporting evidence” regarding the agency’s accusation that a significant number of its employees are members of terrorist organizations. No,” he said.

The review did not address Israeli accusations that 12 of the Gaza Strip’s 13,000 personnel took part in the October 7 attack or its aftermath, a claim the United Nations said is still under internal investigation. It is said that there is. The United Nations has fired 10 of the 12 employees accused by Israel.

Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, said Monday that Guterres accepted the report’s recommendations and urged donors to “actively support UNRWA as it is a lifeline for Palestinian refugees in the region.” “Hey,” he said.

Belgian Development Minister Caroline Genes, who did not cut funding to the agency, said the report showed UNRWA had “acted appropriately at all times”.

“We call on all donors to resume their support,” she said. wrote on social media. “now.”

Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin Quoted by national broadcaster, RTÉ said it hoped some countries that had suspended aid would resume it. He noted that Ireland, which has strongly condemned Israel’s operations in Gaza, had increased its support to UNRWA at a time when other countries were reducing support.

“It has been clear from the outset that UNRWA’s role cannot be replaced or undermined in providing critical assistance, education and education,” he said.

Among the more than a dozen countries that have suspended payments over Israeli accusations, several, including Australia, Canada and Japan, have joined the agency to improve accountability and address the worsening humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip. It has already resumed funding to UNRWA due to the measures taken by the UN.

The United States said it would wait for the results of the U.N. investigation before deciding whether to resume donations to UNRWA. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters Monday that the Biden administration is reviewing the U.N.-commissioned report and has not yet evaluated its conclusions.

“We certainly welcome the fact that the Secretary-General has accepted the recommendations,” Miller said, adding that the United States “has long been clear that UNRWA needs reform.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for UNRWA to be shut down and replaced by a “responsible international aid agency.” Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Monday called on donor countries to avoid sending money to the organization.

UNRWA claimed that Israel was targeting it in a “planned and coordinated campaign” to undermine its operations at a time when it needed its services most.

In March, the European Union, one of UNRWA’s biggest donors, said that Palestinians face dire conditions and should not be made to pay for Hamas’ crimes, and that funding for the agency has been reduced. announced a significant increase in the amount.

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