Germany Increases Aid to Gaza Amid Criticism of Israeli Policies
Germany Increases Aid to Gaza Amid Criticism of Israeli Policies

Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock announced on Tuesday an additional 19 million euros (approximately $20.3 million) in aid to Gaza, criticizing elements of the Israeli government for actions she believes undermine long-term security in the region. Baerbock made these remarks during her visit to Jerusalem, aiming to defuse tensions between Israel and Hamas and prevent further escalation.

"Increasing incidents of settler violence are instilling fear and terror in the West Bank, perpetuating cycles of hatred," Baerbock stated. "Certain factions within the Israeli government coalition are exacerbating these issues, jeopardizing Israel's long-term security with aggressive settler policies."

Germany has decided to reinstate cooperation and funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) operations in Gaza following an independent review. The review, conducted by former French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, found insufficient evidence to support Israeli claims that hundreds of UNRWA employees were affiliated with terrorist organizations.

In a joint statement from Berlin's foreign and development ministries on Wednesday, it was affirmed that Germany will resume its cooperation with UNRWA in light of the review's findings.

Germany's decision follows similar actions by other major donors such as Australia, Canada, Sweden, and Japan, which also resumed relations with UNRWA after Israel's allegations earlier this year. These allegations prompted a swift decision by 19 donor nations to suspend funding to UNRWA, despite lacking conclusive evidence. This move drew criticism as the humanitarian situation in Gaza deteriorated, with rising casualties, a collapsing healthcare system, and growing food shortages.

In the United Kingdom, government ministers have expressed their intention to await the publication of the Colonna report before deciding on resuming financial support. The UK provided £35 million last fiscal year to UNRWA, including an additional £16 million for humanitarian aid. The United States, previously the largest donor to UNRWA, allocated $340 million in 2023, constituting nearly 30% of the agency's total funds. However, further financial support has been halted by Congress for at least a year following Israel's accusations.

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