According to reports, six European countries have halted their financial assistance to the agency aiding Palestinian refugees due to allegations that some of the organization’s employees were involved in Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7th.
On Saturday, January 27th, Reuters reported that Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Finland, along with the United States, Australia, and Canada, are among the countries that have suspended their financial aid to the people of Gaza in the past two days.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) had previously announced that, based on information from Israeli authorities, it had expelled some of its employees on suspicion of participating in the October 7th Hamas attack on Israel.
Philippe Lazzarini, the head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) for Palestinian Refugees, called the suspension of these countries’ budgets “alarming” due to “allegations against a small group of employees” and emphasized that “the lives of Gaza’s people depend on this support.”
He added, “The Palestinians in Gaza did not need this additional collective punishment. This stains all of us.”
Furthermore, the head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for Palestinian Refugees stated that to protect the organization’s ability to provide humanitarian assistance, they have terminated the contracts of 12 employees and initiated an investigation to uncover the truth.
This comes as reports indicate that the death toll in Gaza has exceeded 26,000 people.