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Australians urged to reject propaganda attacks against UNWRA

ACFID < 1 mins read

Media release | Friday, 16 February 2024

Australia’s peak body for foreign aid has urged Australians to reject propaganda attacks against the UN agency for Palestinian aid.

Australian Council For International Development CEO Marc Purcell said: 

“Yesterday, the Australian government acknowledged exaggeration in previous claims by the Israeli government, and aligned with widely known information that the government of Israel has a clear agenda to ensure UNRWA is disbanded.

“This is the UN agency that is currently on the ground providing lifesaving support in Gaza, so this reality is important and disturbing.

“The revelation in Senate estimates underscores that humanitarian agencies which are crucial in saving lives are subject to propaganda attacks by belligerents as part of the wider conflict.

“We urge greater skepticism by Australian parliamentarians and the media in the face of what is now a well-established pattern of Israeli government making shrill and spurious accusations against humanitarian and human rights actors trying to save lives, as well as documenting human rights violations in Gaza and the West Bank.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs yesterday acknowledged in Senate estimates UNWRA’s critics advocated for its disbandment and criticisms of the aid organisation often contained “a significant amount of exaggeration”.

ACFID continues to advocate for an immediate and permanent ceasefire and again raises concern about escalating violence in Gaza and across the region, including following the death of civilians in Lebanon yesterday. 

We also call on the Australian government to immediately reinstate funding to UNRWA which is providing critical humanitarian support to those in Gaza and the West Bank.

For more information, contact Georgie Moore 0477 779 928

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