UNRWA Loses More Ground As Days Pass
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi and the military to find other alternatives to the reliance on UNRWA in all matters related to humanitarian aid in Gaza, which is currently transferred directly to the disgraced organization, Israeli media reported on Tuesday, February 6.
According to the report, citing senior members of the Security Cabinet, Netanyahu has given Halevi until the end of this week to find such alternatives. Israel currently transfers all humanitarian aid for Gaza to UNRWA which oversees its distribution to the population, while Hamas takes at least a substantial part of the aid.
In addition, it is reported that Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has decided to cancel the tax benefits extended to the UNRWA following the reports that the organization’s employees had taken part in the October 7 massacre.
Also, on Monday evening, hundreds of Jerusalem residents protested in front of the UNRWA headquarters in the Ma’alot Dafna neighborhood in the city, calling for the closure of the organization’s headquarters. The demonstration was held with the participation of Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Aryeh King, bereaved families, reservists, and dozens of right-wing organizations.
Lastly, the US government has already temporarily paused funding to the UNRWA, and said it would also redirect any funds for UNRWA to other aid agencies working in Gaza if Congress passes legislation that would bar funding of UNRWA, State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said on Monday.
Patel’s comments follow the unveiling of a bill by senators on Sunday which includes a provision blocking the agency from receiving funds made available by the bill. Patel said at a press briefing on Monday that the bill, negotiated by the Biden administration and a bipartisan group of senators, included $1.4 billion for humanitarian aid for Gaza, but that could be sent to the UN’s World Food Program (WFP), UNICEF or other aid groups. (INN / VFI News)
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