PLO urges countries pausing UNRWA funding to “retract their decisions”

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has called on countries halting support for the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) to “immediately retract their decisions".

The US, Canada, Australia have announced they have paused funding for the UNRWA following allegations that UNRWA staff members were involved in the October 7 attacks in Israel.

“We call on the countries that announced the cessation of their support for UNRWA to immediately retract their decision,” Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization Hussein Al-Sheikh said in a statement Saturday.

“In light of the continuing conflict and aggression against the Palestinian people,” Al-Sheikh wrote, the decision to drop funding “entails great political and relief risks.”

“This organization must be supported and not stopped from being supported and assisted by the international community,” he added.

The PLO is recognized internationally as a representative body of the Palestinian people.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz has also suggested that Israel will seek to stop the UNRWA from operating in post-war Gaza, saying it “will not be a part of the day after.”

Katz posted a statement to X on Saturday “commending the US government for its decision to cease funding” to UNRWA.

“We have been warning for years,” Katz added, “UNRWA perpetuates the refugee issue, obstructs peace, and serves as a civilian arm of Hamas in Gaza.”

On Friday, an Israeli official told CNN that Israel shared information about 12 staffers allegedly involved in the October 7 attacks both with UNRWA and the US. The official did not share more specifics on the alleged actions of the 12 former staffers.

“UNRWA is not the solution – many of its employees are Hamas affiliates with murderous ideologies, aiding in terror activities and preserving its authority,” Katz stressed.

Israel’s relations with the UN have deteriorated in recent months, after the organization’s senior officials repeatedly condemned the country’s military approach to the war in Gaza.

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