June 19, 2024

Japan joins U.S. in halting funds for U.N. Palestinian refugee agency

Japan has decided to suspend funding for a U.N. agency that supports Palestinian refugees, joining the United States and others, amid allegations that its staff may have been involved in Hamas’ attack on Israel last year.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maki Kobayashi said in a press release Sunday that additional aid to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, known as UNRWA, will be halted “for the time being” while it investigates the matter and considers countermeasures.

Palestinians, including children, are seen waiting in front of a food aid stand in Deir Al Balah in Gaza on Jan. 28, 2024. (Anadolu Agency/Getty/Kyodo)

The move followed a U.S. announcement Friday that it would be pausing funding for UNRWA, as it is “extremely troubled” by the allegations that 12 UNRWA employees may have been involved in a surprise attack on southern Israel by Hamas on Oct. 7.

Japan is “extremely concerned” about the alleged involvement of UNRWA personnel in the “terror attack,” and urged the agency to investigate the case and take appropriate measures so that it can “firmly fulfill the role it should play,” Kobayashi said.

The Oct. 7 attack triggered the ongoing Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip which has left over 26,000 people dead in the Hamas-ruled Palestinian enclave and led to a severe deterioration in the humanitarian situation.

Some Western nations such as Britain have followed the United States in halting funding for UNRWA.

UNRWA Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini said in a statement Saturday that the decisions by nine countries to suspend funding “threatens our ongoing humanitarian work across the region including and especially in the Gaza Strip.”

Related coverage:

Japan, U.S. agree to work closely on China issues, for Taiwan peace

ICAN chief urges Japan to recognize nuke ban, not fear U.S. reaction

Palestine envoy hopes to showcase resilience at 2025 Osaka Expo

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We use cookies on our website to give you the most relevant experience by remembering your preferences and repeat visits. By clicking “Accept All”, you consent to the use of ALL the cookies. However, you may visit "Cookie Settings" to provide a controlled consent. View more