Middle East

Palestinian Authority urges countries to reconsider pause in UN relief agency funding

From CNN's Ibrahim Hazboun in Jerusalem

The president of the Palestinian Authority has asked countries that halted funding for the United Nations relief agency in Gaza to reconsider.

A growling list of countries have suspended their funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) after allegations arose that some of its staff members were involved in Hamas’ October 7 terror attacks.

“Such positions, if maintained, would disproportionately punish millions of our people without just cause,” PA President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement Sunday, according to WAFA, the official Palestinian news agency.
Abbas accused Israel of acting out of hostility for the UN agency, saying: “Officials in the Israeli government openly expressed that there would be no role for UNRWA, revealing the true motive behind this campaign.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz suggested Friday that Israel will seek to stop the UN agency from operating in post-war Gaza.

More from Palestinian officials: PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh also said Sunday he hopes the “extremely dangerous” decisions to suspend funding will be “reversed.” He said the decision to suspend aid “comes at the most difficult time, at a time when the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has called for an immediate supply, and increased supplies of international aid into Gaza.”

More context: The ICJ, which is the UN’s top court, ruled last week that Israel must act immediately to prevent a genocide in the Palestinian enclave, including ensuring access to humanitarian aid. Aid workers in Gaza warn that a famine is looming, and that hospitals are in dire shape.

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