HomeIndiaIndia and the worldIndia Has ‘Serious Concern’ About UNRWA, But Considering Aid For Palestinians

India Has ‘Serious Concern’ About UNRWA, But Considering Aid For Palestinians

India Has ‘Serious Concern’ About UNRWA, But Considering Aid For Palestinians

India Has ‘Serious Concern’ About UNRWA, But Considering Aid For Palestinians

UNITED NATIONS, (IANS) – India has expressed “serious concern” over the allegations against the world body’s beleaguered agency that provides support for Palestinians but said that it was “positively considering” requests for aid.

India’s Permanent Representative Ruchira Kamboj said on March 4, “Recent allegations against the UN Relief and Works Agency are a matter of serious concern.”

However, she added, “We are also positively considering specific requests from the UNRWA for assistance in kind. We urge utmost diligence in the utilization of this assistance.”

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced an investigation into allegations made by Israel that UNRWA employees had participated in the October 7 terrorist attack on Israel by Hamas and several staffers were associated with that group.

He has also set up an independent review headed by former French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna of the overall working of the organization.

“We look forward to getting these reports” from the inquiry and the review, Kamboj said while participating in a special meeting on UNRWA convened by General Assembly President Dennis Francis.

Francis warned that UNRWA was in danger of “imminent collapse” and it “may not survive without our immediate and decisive action”.

Sixteen countries led by the US have cut off aid amounting to over $400 million to UNRWA in the wake of the allegations against it.

“As a mark of its solidarity with the Palestinian refugees” India has been making its annual contribution of $5 million — raised from $1.5 million in 2018,” she said.

UNRWA was set up by the General Assembly in 1949 to help Palestine refugees displaced during the founding of Israel.

It has a staff of 13,000 in Gaza and over 160 of them were killed in the Israel counteroffensive that followed the Hamas attack.

“Part of this campaign involves inundating donors with misinformation designed to foster distrust and tarnish the reputation of the Agency”, Lazzarini said.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for dismantling UNRWA and said that it will not be allowed to operate in Gaza after the war.

Israel’s Permanent Representative Gilad Erdan told the General Assembly that UNRWA’s “role in Gaza is finished, and it must be replaced immediately; UNRWA must be defunded and dismantled.”

At an earlier meeting of the General Assembly on Monday on the US veto of the Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, called the UN a collaborator with Hamas terrorism.

Israel has alleged that 450 employees of UNRWA were members of Hamas or other terrorist organizations.

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