Publish date22 Apr 2024 - 19:26
Story Code : 632741

Review says UNRWA has 'robust' neutrality steps, issues persist

A review of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, (UNRWA), has found that it has robust frameworks to ensure compliance with humanitarian neutrality principles though issues persist, Reuter’s reports.
Review says UNRWA has
The United Nations appointed former French Foreign Minister, Catherine Colonna, to lead the UNRWA neutrality review in February after Israel alleged that 12 of UNRWA staff had taken part in the Hamas-led 7 October attacks on Israel which triggered the Gaza war.
In a separate investigation, a UN oversight body is looking into the allegations against the 12 UNRWA staff.
Reuters reviewed a copy of the Colonna-led review’s final report, which is due to be officially released later on Monday.
The report said Israel had made public claims based on an UNRWA staff list provided to it in March that “a significant number” of UNRWA staff were “members of terrorist organisations”.
“However, Israel has yet to provide supporting evidence of this,” it said.
Israel has repeatedly equated UNRWA staff with Hamas members in efforts to discredit them, providing no proof of the claims, while lobbying hard to have UNRWA closed as it is the only UN agency to have a specific mandate to look after the basic needs of Palestinian refugees. If the agency no longer exists, argues Israel, then the refugee issue must no longer exist, and the legitimate right for Palestinian refugees to return to their land will be unnecessary. Israel has denied that right of return since the late 1940s, even though its own membership of the UN was made conditional upon Palestinian refugees being allowed to return to their homes and land.
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