Keep sending money. That was the urgent call Saturday from U.N. Secretary Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as he implored the world not to stop funding the embattled National Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) — the special refugee agency for Palestinians — after staff members were shown to have been part of the Hamas terror attack against Israel on October 7, 2023.
The veteran Portuguese socialist promised anyone caught having been involved in the attack would be sternly dealt with, but in the interim seeks no halt to the flow of money from countries that donate to UNRWA coffers, the Times of Israel reports.
“Any U.N. employee involved in acts of terror will be held accountable, including through criminal prosecution,” the U.N. chief promised in a statement. “The Secretariat is ready to cooperate with a competent authority able to prosecute the individuals in line with the Secretariat’s normal procedures for such cooperation.”
Guterres then called on the nations which have suspended funding to go back on their decisions even as it continues to be challenged over the veracity of its claims on the ongoing troubles in Gaza.
The United Nations is a joke. https://t.co/6fBht1XT6l
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“While I understand their concerns – I was myself horrified by these accusations – I strongly appeal to the governments that have suspended their contributions to, at least, guarantee the continuity of UNRWA’s operations,” Guterres added.
“The tens of thousands of men and women who work for UNRWA, many in some of the most dangerous situations for humanitarian workers, should not be penalized.
“The dire needs of the desperate populations they serve must be met.”
In 2022, the United States provided almost $344 million to UNRWA.
Germany was the second biggest contributor with more than $202 million, followed by the European Union, Sweden, Norway, Japan, France, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and Turkey in the top 10.
The U.S. suspended funds for UNRWA on Friday after the agency fired 12 staffers after being presented by Israel with evidence against them.
The Swiss parliament voted to defund UNRWA in December, after reports emerged that UNRWA staff had praised the October 7 terror attack, in which about 1,200 people were murdered. Several graduates of UNRWA schools were also among the terrorists.
Australia, Germany, Scotland, Canada, Finland, and the Netherlands, have also followed suit.
Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan blasted Guterres for seeking funds for the organization after the allegations were raised, charging he “proves again that the lives and safety of Israeli citizens are not really important to him.”
UK, Italy, Canada, Australia, and Finland Halt UNWRA Funds over Alleged Involvement in October 7th Terror Attacks on Israelhttps://t.co/VdradX6Top
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“After years in which he ignored the evidence shown to him personally about the support and involvement of UNRWA in incitement and terror, and before he launches a comprehensive investigation to locate all the terrorists and murders of Hamas in UNRWA, he is focused on drawing support for the organization of murder and terrorism,” Erdan said, according to the Times of Israel.
“Every country that continues to fund UNRWA before a comprehensive investigation into the organization needs to know that its money will be used for terror and the assistance that is given to UNRWA is liable to go to Hamas terrorists instead of the population of Gaza,” he added, calling on all countries to freeze their funding and demand a probe into the body.
President Joe Biden’s massive $6 trillion budget proposal includes hundreds of millions of dollars in restored aid to the Palestinian. https://t.co/VPLYRNBEoO
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The regular overall U.N. budget hit $3.4 billion for 2023, nearly one-quarter of which was set aside for “special political missions.”
Since the globalist body’s inception in 1945, the U.S. has been its largest single financial contributor.