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Egypt Slams Western Countries’ Decision to Cut Funding to UN Agency in Gaza

On Sunday, Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, criticized several Western countries’ decision to cut financing to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza.The move follows Israel’s allegations that 12 UNRWA personnel were involved in Hamas’ strike on October 7.

During a joint news conference in Cairo with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Shoukry expressed surprise at the severe language used in connection with the claims against UNRWA personnel. He emphasized that such sentiments were not used to address the horrific deaths of nearly 26,000 innocent civilians in Gaza, primarily women and children.

The foreign minister judged it unacceptable to undermine UNRWA’s ability to carry out its mandate as a result of the acts of a few individuals. He underlined that holding the entire agency accountable for the acts of a few is unjustified, considering the institution’s critical function.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asked countries to resume funding for UNRWA, warning that the agency may have to limit help to over 2 million Palestinians in Gaza as early as February.

The humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza has deteriorated as a result of conflict and Israeli restrictions, preventing the delivery of critical aid. A quarter of the population is facing famine, emphasizing the importance of UNRWA’s continued activities.

Guterres reported that nine of the 12 personnel involved in the attack were promptly sacked, one was proven deceased, and two others were still being identified. He promised that they will be held accountable, even through criminal prosecution.

UNRWA has 13,000 staff members in Gaza, the majority of whom are Palestinians who work in a variety of capacities ranging from educators at agency-run schools to medical professionals and assistance workers.

Separately, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan slammed Israel for rejecting the United Nations’ top court’s plea to end death, destruction, and genocide in Gaza. He stressed that this denial has contributed to Gaza’s catastrophic predicament, with nearly 30,000 deaths. Bin Farhan urged the international community to respect international law and work together to overcome the problem and establish peace.

Written by PH

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