Under current circumstances 'we can't discontinue our funding' to UNRWA: Norway's envoy to UN in Geneva

Under current circumstances 'we can't discontinue our funding' to UNRWA: Norway's envoy to UN in Geneva

'We urge all countries that suspended their funding to adhere to their commitments,' says Tormod Endresen

By Beyza Binnur Donmez

GENEVA (AA) - Norway's ambassador to the UN in Geneva on Thursday stressed that states "cannot discontinue" their funding to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees or UNRWA under the current circumstances.

Tormod Endresen's remarks came during his speech at the Interactive Dialogue on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory under the 55th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

"UNRWA represents a lifeline for millions of Palestinians. While there must be accountability for any misconduct by the UNRWA staff, we cannot, under current circumstances, discontinue our funding," he stressed.

He added: "We urge all countries that suspended their funding to adhere to their commitments."

The ambassador also called for a humanitarian cease-fire and unhindered humanitarian access in Gaza.

"Peace is needed to break the cycle of violence and ensure respect for human rights," he said.

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since the Oct. 7 Hamas cross-border incursion, which Tel Aviv says killed nearly 1,200 people.

More than 30,000 Palestinians have since been killed and over 70,000 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The war has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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