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April 1, 2024 (EIRNS)—Israel has rejected an interim report reviewing allegations against the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA, released on March 20, as an attempt to “cover up” the agency’s “failures” and its alleged ties to terror organizations in order to allow for it to resume receipt of global funding, reported the Times of Israel. The report, commissioned by the UN and produced by an independent team headed up by former French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, found that the agency has mechanisms in place to ensure its neutrality, but also deficiencies that must be addressed.

A statement from the Foreign Ministry released on March 30, ten days after the independent review group issued its interim findings, said the report ignores the severe accusations against UNRWA and offers only suggestions for “cosmetic” reforms to the Palestinian refugee agency. Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat excoriated the report for “not even” including a “simple statement that UNRWA should fire or refrain from employing members of Hamas and other terrorist organizations.”

“Israel calls on the donor countries not to allow their taxpayers’ money to flow through UNRWA to terrorist organizations, and to divert this funding to other humanitarian organizations in Gaza,” the statement concluded.

According to a report in the Guardian, Israel has floated a proposal at the UN for dismantling UNRWA altogether. The proposal was presented late last week by the Israeli chief of the general staff, Lt Gen Herzi Halevi, to UN officials in Israel, who forwarded it to the organisation’s secretary general, António Guterres, on Saturday, sources familiar with the discussions said. UNRWA was not involved in the talks as the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have been refusing to deal with it since last Monday, on the basis of claims, so far unproven, of affiliations of some of the agency’s staff with Hamas or Islamic Jihad.

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