Israeli Knesset Considers Law that Will Label UN Aid Agency as ‘Terror Group’

by | May 27, 2024

Israeli Knesset Considers Law that Will Label UN Aid Agency as ‘Terror Group’

by | May 27, 2024

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The Israeli legislature plans to hold a vote on a bill that would name the UN Aid Agency for Palestinians (UNRWA) as a terrorist organization. Since October 7, Israel has killed hundreds of UNRWA staff in Gaza and alleged the group has ties to Hamas. 

The Knesset plans to hold the preliminary vote on the law this Wednesday. MK Yulia Malinovksy explained the bill, “The purpose of this bill is to declare UNRWA as a terrorist organization for all intents and purposes as well as order the termination of the relations [and the cooperation] of the State of Israel with the agency, either directly or indirectly.”

If the law passes the initial vote, it will still have to pass the first, second, and third readings. 

Since October 7, Tel Aviv has targeted UNRWA on the ground in Gaza and in the international press. Amid the Israeli onslaught, the aid agency has reported that nearly 200 of its staff have been killed in Gaza. 

Israeli officials have also smeared UNRWA to give cover for its slaughter of civilians in Gaza. In January, the International Court of Justice issued a preliminary ruling that it was plausible that Tel Aviv’s mass slaughter in Gaza was a genocide. That same week, Tel Aviv claimed that UNRWA aided Hamas’s attack on Southern Israel. 

Since making the allegations, Israel has been unable to produce any evidence to back its claim. An independent investigation debunked the Israeli smears against UNRWA. The agency says that Israel was able to generate the false accusations by torturing its detained staff members. 

UNRWA has served a crucial role in attempting to stem the humanitarian nightmare Israel caused in Gaza. Many Palestinians rely on UNRWA for food and shelter as the Israeli military destroyed their homes and blocked aid from reaching the Strip. Nearly all 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza are internally displaced and facing a catastrophic level of food insecurity. 

The latest Israeli attack on UNRWA also comes as the ICJ has condemned the Israeli offensive in Gaza. On Friday, the World Court ordered that Tel Aviv halt military operations in Gaza. Israel has ignored the warning and appeared to step up the intensity of its attack in the Strip. On Sunday night, at least 40 people, including women and children, were killed by an Israeli strike on a camp holding displaced Palestinians. 

Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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