The United Nations on Monday introduced it had appointed an unbiased evaluate group to analyze issues that the U.N. physique chargeable for Palestinian refugees is compromised over ties to terrorist teams, specifically Hamas within the Gaza Strip.
The evaluate is geared toward analyzing the coverage of “neutrality” for the United Nations Aid and Works Company (UNRWA), following allegations that 12 of its employees working in Gaza participated in Hamas’s lethal Oct. 7 assault on Israel. A separate investigation by the U.N. Workplace of Inner Oversight Providers is being carried out associated to the allegations in opposition to the 12 employees members.
The U.N. has appointed former French International Affairs Minister Catherine Colonna to work with three organizations to conduct the evaluate of UNRWA, the U.N. physique aiding Palestinian refugees throughout the Center East that’s considered as a crucial company within the Gaza Strip.
The United Nations evaluate group will start its investigation on Feb. 14 and is anticipated to submit an interim report back to the U.N. secretary-general by late March, with a last, public report anticipated to be accomplished by April.
The U.N. stated that the investigation will evaluate UNRWA’s coverage to make sure “neutrality and to answer allegations or info indicating that the precept could have been breached.”
The three organizations working below Colonna embody human rights organizations and people specializing in humanitarian legislation, together with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute in Sweden, the Chr. Michelsen Institute in Norway and the Danish Institute for Human Rights.
Supporters of UNRWA say that the 12 workers accused of working with Hamas characterize a small fraction of the estimated 13,000 workers in Gaza, however Israel reportedly alleges that no less than 10 p.c of the company’s employees has ties to Hamas, which is designated as a terrorist group in Israel, the U.S. and a number of other European nations.
The U.S. and no less than eight different nations have suspended funding for UNRWA within the wake of the allegations of workers’ participation in Hamas’s assaults, drawing assist from company critics who view the group as contributing to antisemitism and hatred of Israel in addition to redundant for working exterior the United Nations essential physique for refugees, the United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Refugees.
However UNRWA’s supporters say the company is a crucial participant in offering humanitarian help amid the humanitarian disaster ensuing from Israel’s retaliatory struggle in opposition to Hamas. UNRWA helps present meals, shelter and medical help to almost 2 million folks in disaster.
State Division deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel welcomed the U.N. launching the unbiased evaluate, saying the U.S. seems to be ahead to seeing concrete outcomes on how UNRWA ensures neutrality and responds to the breach of its coverage.
“In the meantime, we’re going to proceed to seek the advice of carefully with different donors on how one can proceed to fulfill pressing humanitarian wants in Gaza … we’ll redirect funding for UNRWA to different companions to supply help in Gaza,” Patel stated.
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