Western aid cut will cause more pain for starving Gaza civilians — RT World News

It is no coincidence that Israel found reason to deny funding to the UN Palestine refugee agency immediately after the International Court of Justice's genocide ruling.

After more than four months of a bombing campaign that killed more than 27,000 people in Gaza, recent Israeli accusations of UNRWA staff of involvement in the Hamas insurgency on October 7 led many Western countries to immediately cut much-needed funding. .

This means that the most vulnerable Palestinians – more than two million people in Gaza, starving and in desperate need of medical care and shelter – will go without support from UNRWA, the UN’s Palestine refugee agency, when current funding dries up. According to To UNRWAThis may be by the end of February, “Not only in Gaza but also throughout the region.” UNRWA also supports Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

It is no coincidence that the Israeli claims against 13 of UNRWA's 13,000 employees in Gaza came immediately after the International Court of Justice's ruling on the genocide case brought by South Africa against Israel. Although the International Court of Justice did not demand an end to Israel's ongoing bombing across Gaza and the shooting of Palestinians queuing for food aid, it did order Israel to prevent genocide (which many, myself included, say Israel has already committed).

Under this ruling, Israel must “Take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of basic services and much-needed humanitarian assistance to address the adverse living conditions faced by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.” The existing body to do this is UNRWA, but Israel wants to ensure that it cannot act.

Deviating from the spotlight of the International Court of Justice (and any media focus on the genocide), Israel did the opposite by taking measures to address the famine in Gaza – it caused UNRWA to lose its main funding. UNRWA supports the basic needs of Palestine refugees, including food assistance and health care, both of which are urgently needed for Palestinians who have been subjected to continuous bombing since October, without drinking water, without food, and exposed to (avoidable) mass starvation.

In addition, many Palestinians who required surgeries or amputations due to injuries underwent these procedures without anesthesia and in poor conditions, causing further sickness and disease. After Israel bombed almost all of Gaza's hospitals and attacked medical staff and ambulances, all in the wake of a tight 16-year blockade, the need for healthcare has become even more urgent in the Strip.

At the end of January 20, relief organizations Issued Joint statement expressing anger and concern over UNRWA budget cuts, indicating that it will “It impacts life-saving assistance for more than two million civilians, more than half of whom are children…The population faces looming starvation, starvation and disease outbreaks amid ongoing Israeli indiscriminate bombing and deliberate denial of aid in Gaza.”

The statement indicated that 145 UNRWA facilities have been closed Consists As a result of the Israeli bombing. Many of these facilities are schools where displaced Palestinians were sheltering. By this point, attacks on such schools were numerous, killing Palestinians who had fled bombing elsewhere, then being killed in what they thought might be off-limits to Israel – a UN school.

But as we saw in previous Israeli bombing operations, including during them One of the two wars Which I personally documented, Such schools The homes of displaced Palestinian civilians are routinely targeted.

More than a million Palestinians are seeking shelter “In or around 154 UNRWA shelters,” The statement said. “States that withhold funds risk depriving Palestinians in the region of basic food, water, assistance, medical supplies, education and protection.” She added.

Where is the evidence?

According to Israel, its claims that UNRWA employees were complicit in Hamas attacks are based on intelligence data. However, while a summary of the allegations has been shared with the media, the intelligence in question has never been or has apparently been shown to the media or the public. Western officials.

As we mentioned previously, it is not a coincidence that Israel launched these accusations immediately after the International Court of Justice's decision. But what some may not know is that even last December, the Times of Israel published mentioned Israel hopes to remove UNRWA from Gaza after the war. The original source was A “Secret State Department High-Level Report.”

The recommended plan seems to start with “A comprehensive report on UNRWA’s alleged cooperation with Hamas.” This will be followed by the replacement of UNRWA and the transfer of its responsibilities to it “The body that governs Gaza after the war.” It seems that Israel has now begun to activate this plan… after creating the conditions for mass starvation in Gaza.

Cutting aid funding while supporting terrorists elsewhere

Cutting off funding for an agency that provides much-needed basics of life to a population under siege is not only unethical – it is also contrary to the UN Charter and inconsistent with an International Court of Justice ruling (although the latter only applies to Israel).

American human rights lawyer and international law professor Francis Boyle recently made this point, It helps:“For governments that have done so, they are now violating Article 2(c) of the Genocide Convention: “Intentionally inflicting on the group conditions of living intended for its physical destruction in whole or in part.”

Boyle also noted that the United States and the United Kingdom, among other Western countries, were as well “Aiding and abetting Israeli genocide against Palestinians” And so does the United States “In violation of its Genocide Convention Implementation Act.”

Let us remember that the same Western countries (US, UK, Canada) that hastily cut aid to UNRWA were happy to fund the White Helmets in Syria, despite abundant evidence of their participation in crimes against Syrian civilians. As well as the connections that at least some of them had with Al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups. Their supporters wrote this as “Some bad apples.” But do not apply the same logic to the 13 Palestinian UNRWA employees (out of 13,000) in Gaza whom Israel condemns.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of RT.

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