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‘No plans’ to suspended funding to UNRWA

Ireland has “no plans” to suspend funding for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, the Tánaiste has said, after other nations have announced they are suspend funding.

It comes after Israel’s foreign minister said the country will seek to stop UNRWA from operating in Gaza after the war after it accused several of its staff of involvement in Hamas’s 7 October attack.

Australia, Italy, Finland and Canada have decided to suspend financing of UNRWA, while Britain is is ‘temporarily pausing’ future funding.

In a social media post, Micheál Martin said he has “full confidence” in Commissioner-General of UNRWA Philippe Lazzarini’s decision to immediately suspend staff suspected of participation in the “heinous attacks of October 7” and to investigate thoroughly and “show zero tolerance on terror”.

“Ireland has no plans to suspend funding for UNRWA’s vital Gaza work,” Mr Martin said.

“UNRWA’s 13,000 employees provide life saving assistance to 2.3m people and at incredible personal cost – with over 100 staff killed in last four months”.

Mr Martin added that Ireland provided the agency with €18m in 2023 and “will continue our support in 2024”.

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