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News > Palestine

Israel Fosters Disinformation Campaign Against UNRWA: Ireland

  • Irish Deputy PM Micheál Martin (L) & Philippe Lazzarini (R), Feb. 15, 2024.

    Irish Deputy PM Micheál Martin (L) & Philippe Lazzarini (R), Feb. 15, 2024. | Photo: X/ @rtenews

Published 15 February 2024

The Irish government will contribute €20 million to the UNRWA's operations in 2024.

On Thursday, Irish Deputy Prime Minister Micheál Martin accused Israel of launching a "disinformation" campaign against the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and called on donor countries not to suspend their aid to this humanitarian institution.


Israeli Forces Storm Nasser Hospital in Gaza's Khan Younis

Martin made these statements after meeting in Dublin with UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini, whom he confirmed that the Irish government will contribute €20 million to its operations in 2024.

He expressed concern that several countries have canceled their donations to the agency based on accusations made against a very small number of its staff, which "have not yet been proven."

"Our partners in the European Union and others, including the U.S., must urgently reverse that decision and resume funding," Martin emphasized.

The centrist leader recalled that the International Court of Justice has ordered Israel to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance to address the difficult living conditions facing Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

"Instead, Israel has launched a disinformation campaign against UNRWA. Not enough aid is reaching civilians in Gaza yet, and that is totally unacceptable," Martin pointed out.

For his part, Lazzarini explained that the "temporary suspension" of donations adopted by 15 countries deprives this organization of US$450 million, while he expressed confidence that the €82 million annually provided by the European Commission (EC) will arrive in early March.

The text reads, "New offensive by war criminals against a hospital. This time the Israeli army bombed the orthopedic department of the Nasser hospital in Khan Younes, in the Gaza Strip. France must abandon incantations and act to achieve a ceasefire!"

He warned that if the contribution from the European Commission is halted, other countries in the bloc might interpret it as a "signal" of "lack of trust" between Brussels and UNRWA.

The commissioner insisted that he has not received any official communication about the accusations from Israeli authorities, who claim that several Hamas fighters used the agency's offices in northern Gaza.

Lazzarini's visit to Dublin also comes after Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar sent a letter on Wednesday to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, requesting a review of whether Israel is complying with its agreements with the EU regarding respect for human rights.

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