UNRWA
UNRWAAbed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

Germany announced on Wednesday it would resume cooperation with the UN agency for “Palestinian refugees”, UNRWA, Reuters reported.

Israel said in January that 12 UNRWA staff participated in the October 7 Hamas attacks. In the weeks that followed, numerous donor states, including Germany, suspended or paused some $450 million in funding to UNRWA, though some of those countries have since resumed the funding.

A review led by former French foreign minister Catherine Colonna into UNRWA's procedures for ensuring adherence to principles of neutrality was published on Monday. The panel said it found "neutrality-related issues" in UNRWA but also claimed that Israel had yet to provide evidence for allegations that a significant number of its staff were members of terrorist organizations.

In a statement on Wednesday, the German foreign and development ministries urged UNRWA to swiftly implement the report's recommendations, including strengthening its internal audit function and improving external oversight of project management.

"In support of these reforms, the German government will soon continue its cooperation with UNRWA in Gaza, as Australia, Canada, Sweden and Japan, among others, have already done," it said, as quoted by Reuters.

UNRWA communications director Juliette Touma said UNRWA was "so grateful," adding, "Germany has been a very committed donor to the agency."

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oren Marmorstein denounced the German decision and called it “regrettable and disappointing.”

“Israel shared with Germany and other donor countries detailed information about hundreds of Hamas militants and many hundreds more who are members of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations, all of whom are UNRWA employees,” he added. “These are not just a few bad apples - this is a rotten and poisonous tree.”

“Transferring German taxpayers' money to an organization in which such a high percentage of its employees are Hamas members - an organization which is proscribed as a terrorist organization in Germany- will not contribute to promoting the security and welfare of the residents of the region, both Israelis and Palestinians alike,” continued the spokesperson.

“UNRWA is part of the problem and not part of the solution. We will continue to work closely with the German government to channel the humanitarian aid to Gaza through other agencies,” concluded Marmorstein.