Spain announces support for UNRWA and organizations call on countries that have frozen funding to review their decision Spain announces support for UNRWA and organizations call on countries that have frozen funding to review their decision

Spain announces support for UNRWA and organizations call on countries that have frozen funding to review their decision

Spain announces support for UNRWA and organizations call on countries that have frozen funding to review their decision

Spain announced its support for the Palestinian Refugee Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), stressing that the UN agency is “indispensable,” while human rights organizations said that “stopping funding for UNRWA is a continuation of genocide,” demanding that countries reverse the decision to freeze funding for the organization.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albarez confirmed on Monday that his country will continue to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in the Near East.

Thus, Spain has joined other countries, such as Ireland and Norway, which said that they “will not cut aid,” but welcomed an investigation into Israeli allegations of the participation of some agency employees in the Hamas attack on the settlements surrounding the Gaza Strip.

During a parliamentary committee meeting, Albarez described the UN agency as “indispensable,” saying that “funding helps alleviate the terrible humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.”

The Spanish Foreign Minister explained that "his country will closely follow the agency's internal investigation."

He continued, "The investigation is looking into the actions of about 10 people out of 30,000 UNRWA employees."

Human rights organizations: Stopping funding for UNRWA completes the genocide

In this context, Palestinian human rights organizations considered stopping financial support for the UN agency UNRWA as “a continuation of the genocide in the Gaza Strip” and warned that this would lead more than 2 million Palestinians in the Strip to “die of starvation.”

This came in a press conference held by representatives of Palestinian human rights non-governmental organizations, most notably the Independent Commission for Human Rights, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, in the city of Rafah in the far south of the Gaza Strip.

Jamil Sarhan, Director of the Independent Commission for Human Rights, stated during the conference that “stopping funding for UNRWA is a political decision and is not considered a professional decision. Rather, it is based on Israeli intelligence information that has not been verified and cannot be considered a real legal basis.”

Sarhan asked: “How can the Palestinian people be punished by denying aid to them due to the accusation of a small number of employees in this case?”

He explained: "These are weak and unconvincing justifications that constitute sanctions against the Palestinian people, and merely a continuation of the genocide practiced by the occupation forces in Gaza."

Sarhan called on the countries that stopped funding UNRWA to “review their decision and move away from the approach that supports genocide in Gaza.”

For his part, Samir Zaqout, Deputy Director of Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, said, “Stopping funding for UNRWA means pushing people to starve to death in Gaza,” considering the decision as a continuation of the crime of “genocide.”

Zaqout added: "We call on all countries of the world to implement the decisions of the International Court of Justice to stop the genocide in Gaza."

Zaqout considered that Israel "is continuing the crime of genocide in Gaza, and has not stopped it despite the decision of the International Court."

Since Friday, 12 countries have “temporarily” suspended funding for the UN agency, following Israeli allegations that 12 UNRWA employees participated in a Hamas attack on Israeli settlements adjacent to the Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023.

The countries that announced the suspension of funding for UNRWA are the United States, Canada, Australia, Italy, Britain, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Japan and Austria.

The Western announcements came hours after the International Court of Justice in The Hague announced its rejection of Israel's demands to drop the "genocide" lawsuit in Gaza brought against it by South Africa and temporarily ruled that Tel Aviv must take "measures to stop the genocide and bring in humanitarian aid."

Since October 7, 2023, the Israeli occupation army has been waging a devastating war on Gaza, which as of Monday left 26,637 martyrs and 65,387 injured, most of them children and women, according to the Palestinian authorities, and caused “massive destruction and an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe,” according to the Palestinian authorities. United nations.

Archbishop of Canterbury: Sending migrants to Rwanda undermines the UK's global standing

Britain's standing in the world will decline if it goes ahead with its plan to send some asylum seekers on a one-way flight to Rwanda, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said on Monday.
Welby said UK politicians were seeking to "outsource our moral and legal responsibilities to asylum seekers and refugees".

Speaking as a member of the upper chamber of Parliament (the House of Lords), Welby stated that “a pick-and-choose approach to international law undermines our global standing.”

“We, as a nation, can do better than this bill,” he added.

On Monday, the Lords began debating the government's Rwanda safety bill, which aims to overcome a legal hurdle to a plan to send migrants arriving in Britain across the English Channel in small boats to the east African country.

The policy, under which asylum seekers will remain permanently in Rwanda, is a key feature of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's plan to "stop boats" carrying unauthorized migrants to the UK.

Sunak said deporting unauthorized asylum seekers would deter individuals from undertaking risky journeys and break the business model of people smuggling gangs.

No one has yet been sent to Rwanda under the plan, which human rights groups describe as inhumane and unworkable. The UK Supreme Court in November ruled that the policy was illegal because Rwanda is not a safe country for refugees.

In response to the court ruling, Britain and Rwanda signed a treaty pledging to strengthen protection for migrants, and Sunak's Conservative government says the treaty allows it to pass a law declaring Rwanda a safe destination.

If approved by Parliament, the law would allow the government to "repeal" sections of the UK Human Rights Act when it comes to asylum claims related to Rwanda and would make it difficult to challenge deportations in court.
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