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Denmark says UN agency ‘crucial’ for Palestinians in need

February 12, 2024 at 8:46 pm

The UN flag flies on the roof of the UNRWA school at al-Am’ari Refugee Camp after funding cuts to UNRWA in Ramallah, West Bank on February 03, 2024 [Issam Rimawi – Anadolu Agency]

Denmark on Monday reiterated its position that the UN agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) remains crucial for civilians in need in Gaza, Anadolu Agency reports.

In a meeting with UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini, Danish Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy Dan Jorgensen said: “Following serious allegations of UNRWA staff involved in Hamas’ terror attack on Israel, critical to ensure full and transparent examination so trust and UN neutrality can be restored.”

But contrary to the Israeli government’s position against the UN relief agency, he said: “The UNRWA remains crucial for civilians in need.”

The UN agency provides aid to Palestinians in Gaza. In reaction to Israeli allegations that claimed a number of its staffers were involved in 7 October Hamas attack, a number of donor countries have suspended funding. The agency has launched an investigation and dismissed staff accused of involvement in the attack.

Denmark on Friday said that it would not withdraw funding from the agency as defunding would “accelerate a humanitarian conflict” in the Gaza Strip.

Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said Denmark would make the planned financial assistance as scheduled to the UN agency in March.

He said collective punishment of Gazans is not a way forward to resolve the complex crisis in the region.

“It’s quite terrible, but now it’s not like we normally have a principle of collective punishment. We are talking about an organization that has about 30,000 employees – 13,000 are in Gaza,” he said.

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