The Netherlands halts UNRWA funding

The Netherlands has halted any future funding of UNRWA, the UN aid organisation for Palestine refugees. Foreign trade and development minister Geoffrey van Leeuwen made this decision after UNRWA announced an investigation into allegations that some of its staff members were involved in the 7 October terrorist attacks on Israel.

Mr Van Leeuwen has decided that UNRWA will receive no Dutch funding until the investigation is concluded, not even in response to new requests because of the situation in Gaza.

‘These accusations are simply too serious,’ the minister said. ‘We first need to know the full results of this investigation and what further steps the United Nations will take. The Netherlands will continue providing humanitarian aid to the civilian population in Gaza through other channels.’

UNRWA is receiving €19 million from the Dutch development budget this year. This is a regular contribution which has already been paid.