London- International relief organizations condemned the suspension of funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), the key body in providing assistance to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, warning of the occurrence of an imminent humanitarian crisis. Which contradicts the recommendations of the International Court of Justice, and hinders the implementation of its recommendations which called for the arrival of humanitarian aid.
The British Action Aid Foundation described the decision to halt support as a “death sentence” for Palestinians in Gaza and the region, leading some human rights centers to warn that those who made the decision could be charged with war crimes. Involvement could result in prosecution. ,
Christian Benedict, crisis response director at Amnesty International UK, said: “This is a terrible decision and should be immediately reversed, and UNRWA has already said it is urgently investigating these allegations.”
“UNRWA is desperately trying to help Palestinian civilians who are facing famine and disease amid the ongoing Israeli bombardment and siege of Gaza, and it is these civilians who are most affected by the decisions,” he said in an interview with Al Jazeera Net. Will be punished with.” United Kingdom.”
Benedict criticized the British government, stressing that, “After a short period of false criticism of the genocide case brought before the Court, it appears that the United Kingdom will once again side with Israel and the United States.” Giving priority to its diplomatic and commercial relations.” “The cost of the devastating plight of the Palestinian people.”
The British government issued a statement following the International Court of Justice's decision, saying that “the United Kingdom does not regard Israel's actions in Gaza as genocide” and that the decision by South Africa to file a lawsuit was “wrong and provocative”.
absent international duty
“Although signatory countries do not have the duties of occupier that fall on the State of Israel, they are bound by international law agreements, particularly the Genocide Convention,” says Akshay Kumar, crisis advocacy director at Human Rights Watch.
The official of this human rights organization explained – to Al Jazeera Net – that both the United Kingdom and the United States have obligations to governments that have signed international agreements, including two obligations that have been breached, namely:
- First commitment: Stopping the Genocide.
- Second: Verify before shipping any type of military weapon that may violate international or humanitarian law.
Kumar referred to the Court's recommendation to ensure that the situation does not worsen and to ensure the delivery of aid, which is binding on all governments that have previously signed the agreement, stressing the need for this signature. Should be reflected in decisions. Signatory governments, notably the United States and the United Kingdom.
He warned against cutting aid to UNRWA, noting that this would starve thousands of Palestinians with special needs, women, children, pregnant women and the elderly who depend on the Agency's assistance, and that the international community would not recognize the reality of hunger. Knows.
Expressing his concern, Kumar said, “UNRWA has informed us officially that it will not be able to operate till the end of this month, and so there will be terrible difficulties, and there is a real threat of famine, and that is certainly a The case is under the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice, which called on the countries concerned that have signed its agreement to ensure the entry of humanitarian aid.
The Director of Crisis Advocacy at Watch confirmed that his organization is currently urging Israel to cease conflict and comply with its duty as an occupying power, including:
- First, Israel must take responsibility for meeting the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people.
- Secondly, it is necessary to comply with the decision of the International Court of Justice to allow the entry of aid.
Kumar declined to talk about any alternative plans for UNRWA, warning against this scenario as an Israeli plan and saying it would be an attempt by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and This is the demand of his Foreign Minister Israel Katz.
The Director of Crisis Affairs stressed that any attempt to find an alternative plan for UNRWA is an adoption of Israeli goals, and he appealed not to surrender this goal.
He reported that Watch continues to document the facts, and that they have documented “conclusive evidence of atrocities committed by Israeli occupation forces” and that they constitute serious war crimes, including evidence of deliberate mass punishment, starvation as a weapon. Includes use of. War and crimes against humanity.
Kumar warned against playing with the lives of Palestinians in Gaza and asked them to wait until the investigation is completed to receive food aid. He said this is the beginning of a real humanitarian disaster.
allegations without evidence
Kumar told Al Jazeera Net that an investigation is underway at the United Nations, and the body responsible for investigating these claims and allegations was activated by a decision of the organization's Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
He called for an independent body away from UNRWA management to ensure the independence of the investigation. He said that, despite allegations and allegations being publicized against 12 agency employees, the independent body reviewed only narrative allegations without any evidence, yet it treated the allegations with the highest level of seriousness for investigation.
Kumar said that there were reports about the existence of a “file”, but he denied that his organization or the United Nations had been informed of any written evidence that could support these allegations. He said there was not enough information to confirm or deny it. Countries that ceased support received a file containing conclusive evidence.” Because were these employees involved in any activities that “violated the law”, or was the decision to ban based on verbal allegations?
Accordingly, Kumar said that the organization will now conduct its own investigation without obtaining any evidence to help verify these allegations.
In the same context, the legal office of the Center for International Justice for Palestinians in the United Kingdom stated that the United Kingdom's decision to cut funding for UNRWA is a move that undermines international justice mandates that limit the arrival of aid to Gaza. Recommends for sure.
“Given the growing threat of famine in Gaza, the decision to halt funding could risk UK officials being accused of engaging in war crimes, including mass punishment,” the statement said.