CFI Parliamentary Chairman (Commons) Rt. Hon. Stephen Crabb MP said that last year the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) “discovered a major terrorist tunnel under two of its schools in Gaza”. He asked: “What support can the UK give to UNRWA to ensure that its neutrality is not violated, and that its resources do not get misappropriated?”.
Minister for the Middle East Rt. Hon. Alistair Burt MP responded that it is “absolutely essential” that UNRWA “maintains the integrity of its operation”.
Rt. Hon. Robert Halfon MP asked the Minister whether they shared his concern “that Hamas’s continued misuse of international aid worsens the suffering of the people of Gaza” and “how can she be sure that UK taxpayers’ money is reaching those who need it most?”
The MP for Harlow also condemned “Hamas terrorists in Gaza” for firing “as many as 460 rockets towards Israeli civilian communities”.
International Development Minister Harriett Baldwin MP stated in response that the UK Government “strongly condemn Hamas’s rocket firing and are deeply concerned about the civilian casualties”, adding that “we need to be extremely careful to ensure that UK aid reaches the intended beneficiaries”.
Tom Pursglove MP welcomed UK funding of £3 million for peaceful coexistence projects bringing Israelis and Palestinians together. He asked: “Will my right hon. Friend update the House on the allocation of the funding for those projects to help to bring these groups together?”
Minister Burt said the “invaluable programme” is in place, and “it is working in Israel and the Palestinian territories to bring together young leaders and connect them, to work together on reducing tensions on inter-religious sacred sites, and to help to tackle a neglected tropical disease, leishmaniasis, by working co-operatively together”.
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