Sources of Israeli Foreign Ministry considered “very regrettable”, after the head of Spanish diplomacy, Jose Manuel Albareshas announced that Spain will not only continue to support URNWA but will also provide 3.5 million euros so that it can continue carrying out its activities in the short term, after other donor countries have suspended financing.
“We find the decision of the Spanish Government very regrettable”without even waiting“to know the result of the ongoing investigation after it was revealed that some of the UNRWA workers participated in the “massacre” of October 7 and the ties of this UN agency “with a terrorist organization like Hamas”, sources have pointed out.
On January 26, UNRWA announced the dismissal of several of its employees after Israel revealed that they had participated in the October 7 attacks and announced the opening of an investigation, to which the UN itself also joined. In fact, the Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterresappointed this Monday the external commission responsible for studying the integrity of UNRWA, under the direction of former French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna.
Many countries have suspended their financial contributions to the UN agency
As a result of these events, numerous donor countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and several EU member states such as Italy or Germanyhave suspended their financial contributions to the UN agency, while others such as Norway or Belgium They have reiterated their support.
Albares already announced last week that Spain would continue supporting UNRWA in the current circumstances, although closely following the ongoing investigation, and this Monday, before the International Cooperation Commission of the Congress of Deputies, he once again defended that it is a “essential organization“.
The minister has stressed that the UN agency not only works in Gaza but also provides care to 6 million Palestinian refugees living in other countries such as Lebanon, Syria or Jordan. What’s more, he has highlighted, three out of four are not in the Palestinian territories.
According to Albares, the fact that UNRWA runs out of funds could mean that 1.1 million of Palestinians in Gaza who receive daily food aid “whether they can eat tomorrow or not.”
This new disagreement with Israel occurs after the diplomatic crisis caused by statements by the President of the Government, Pedro Sanchezquestioning that the Government of Benjamin Netanyahu was respecting International Humanitarian Law in its military offensive in Gaza.
Then, Israel proceeded to call the ambassador in Spain for consultations, Rodica Radian-Gordon, who returned to his country on November 30. Finally, after the arrival of Israel Katz at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on January 1 and observing “a change for the better” in the Spanish Government’s messages, the diplomat returned to Madrid in the second week of January.