Canada Joins US in Halting Funds for UN Agency for Hamas Ties

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Canada’s minister of international development has announced that Canada will temporarily halt funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) while the agency is being investigated for possible terrorist ties to Hamas.

“Canada has temporarily paused any additional funding to UNRWA while it undertakes a thorough investigation into these allegations,” said Ahmed Hussen in a release posted to X (formerly Twitter) on Jan. 26.

“Canada unequivocally condemns [Hamas’s] October 7th attack on Israel,” Mr. Hussen added on X.

“I am deeply troubled by the allegations relating to some UNRWA employees.”

The Canadian announcement follows the decision of the United States to suspend its financial contributions to UNRWA following claims that a dozen of the agency’s employees took part in the Oct. 7 Hamas-initiated attack on Israel, which resulted in the loss of about 1,200 lives and escalated into a significant conflict in the region.
Established in 1949, UNRWA was created to deliver aid to Palestinian refugees. The agency operates in several locations, including the Gaza Strip. In the region, the Israeli military has been conducting operations targeting Hamas, an organization that Israel and several other countries have designated as a terrorist group due to its use of the area to launch attacks against Israeli targets.

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According to Mr. Hussen’s release, the minister has personally communicated with UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini to voice Canada’s apprehensions and press UNRWA and other international donors to thoroughly address the accusations.

Mr. Hussen said Canada expects a swift and comprehensive investigation by UNRWA into the accusations and has made it clear that if the allegations are confirmed, immediate action must be taken against those who were involved in the Oct. 7 attack.

Mr. Lazzarini responded to the reports from Israeli officials regarding the purported participation of some UNRWA staff in the attacks, which he characterized as “horrific.”

He expressed his dismay at the “shocking” nature of the claims about UNRWA staff and confirmed the immediate dismissal of the implicated employees and the initiation of a probe into the matter.

“Any UNRWA employee who was involved in acts of terror will be held accountable, including through criminal prosecution,” Mr. Lazzarini declared.

In addition, a spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said UNRWA will commission an “independent expert review” to thoroughly examine the accusations.

Despite these developments, Mr. Hussen affirmed Canada’s ongoing commitment to the welfare of Gazan civilians, saying its support for the Gazan people will continue as Canada works with international partners to ensure delivery of vital humanitarian aid.

The Epoch Times reached out to UNRWA for comment but did not receive a response by press time.



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