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Israeli attempts to discredit UN refugee agency ‘unsuccessful’: Jordan

May 19, 2024 at 5:09 pm

UNRWA flag in Silwan, Jerusalem on January 30, 2024 [Saeed Qaq/Anadolu via Getty Images]

Jordan said Sunday that Israeli attempts to discredit the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) have been unsuccessful, Anadolu Agency reports.

“The accusations against UNRWA have proved to be false, and attempts to politically discredit the agency had failed,” Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told a press conference in Amman with UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini.

Safadi termed the humanitarian situation in the war-battered Gaza Strip as “catastrophic.”

“Any other party can’t replace the UNRWA role,” he added.

The Jordanian minister said the UN refugee agency faces major financial challenges after 16 countries suspended funding for UNRWA amid Israeli accusations.

“Some 14 countries have now resumed their financial support for the agency,” he added.

For his part, Lazzarini said humanitarian aid reaching the Gaza Strip has been “minuscule.”

“Approximately half a million people now live in destroyed structures,” he said. “There is no safe place in Gaza.”

Lazzarini said 198 UNRWA employees had been killed in the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip.

“Around 160 UNRWA facilities have been destroyed or damaged,” he added.

In January, some 18 countries and the European Union suspended their funding for UNRWA against the backdrop of Israeli allegations that 12 agency employees may have been involved in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack.

In March, however, several countries rescinded their decision and decided to resume funding for the UN refugee agency.

Israel continued its brutal offensive on Gaza despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire.

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