Home » War in the Middle East: German-Israeli Society calls for a stop to payments to UNRWA

War in the Middle East: German-Israeli Society calls for a stop to payments to UNRWA

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War in the Middle East: German-Israeli Society calls for a stop to payments to UNRWA

The President of the German-Israeli Society, Volker Beck, has called on the federal government to suspend payments to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). The background is the possible involvement of UNRWA employees in the Hamas terrorist attacks on October 7th. According to its own information, the aid organization has started investigations.

The internal monitoring at UNRWA did not work, said Beck. The aid organization behaved “like an accomplice” in the Gaza Strip. “It was always accepted that Hamas stored ammunition or built tunnel exits under and next to UNRWA facilities. Nobody wanted to know anything about the extent of the tunnel system,” said Beck. However, the organization’s humanitarian mission would have required sounding the alarm. The aid organization is currently receiving 91 million euros from the German Development Ministry.

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Several countries have already stopped payments to UNRWA amid suspicions against its staff, including Italy, the UK, the US and Canada.

Two million people rely on UNRWA aid

UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini made it public on Friday that the aid agency had received information from Israel about the possible involvement of employees in the Hamas attack on October 7th. Existing contracts with the accused employees were terminated with immediate effect. “Any UNRWA staff involved in acts of terrorism will be held accountable, including through criminal prosecution,” Lazzarini said. A spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres said he was “horrified” and had asked for rapid investigations.

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The “shocking allegations” come at a time when more than two million people in the Gaza Strip rely on life-saving assistance from UNRWA, Lazzarini said. Anyone who betrays the fundamental values ​​of the United Nations also betrays the people for whom the UN works in Gaza and elsewhere.

Foreign Office “concerned”

The Foreign Office said it was “deeply concerned” about the allegations. The ministry welcomes the dismissals of the affected employees and the announced investigations. “We expect it to be thorough and complete,” wrote the ministry on X. Lazzarini must make it clear to the UN aid agency’s staff “that all forms of hatred and violence are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.” UNRWA’s mission is to provide essential and life-saving assistance to the Palestinians.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell also expressed “extreme concern.” UNRWA has played an important role in supporting needy Palestinian refugees for many years and is an important partner of the EU. According to its own information, UNRWA had received 82 million euros from the EU. These payments were audited after the Hamas attacks to ensure that support did not directly or indirectly benefit terrorist activities.

The President of the German-Israeli Society, Volker Beck, has called on the federal government to suspend payments to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). The background is the possible involvement of UNRWA employees in the Hamas terrorist attacks on October 7th. According to its own information, the aid organization has started investigations.

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The internal monitoring at UNRWA did not work, said Beck. The aid organization behaved “like an accomplice” in the Gaza Strip. “It was always accepted that Hamas stored ammunition or built tunnel exits under and next to UNRWA facilities. Nobody wanted to know anything about the extent of the tunnel system,” said Beck. However, the organization’s humanitarian mission would have required sounding the alarm. The aid organization is currently receiving 91 million euros from the German Development Ministry.

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