Defying Israeli campaign, UNRWA nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

This comes as Western donors decided to cut funding for the UNRWA aid organization over unfounded Israeli accusations.

  • A UNRWA fuel truck at Egypt’s Rafah border crossing heads for Gaza. (AP)

A Norwegian lawmaker said on Thursday that he has nominated the UN Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA, which is mired in a dispute over alleged involvement in Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Last Saturday, Western donors decided to cut funding for the UNRWA aid organization after “Israel” raised allegations of collaboration of 12 of the organization’s staffers with the Resistance. 

The United States and Canada were the first to lead the move, and Finland, Australia, Britain, and Italy followed suit on Saturday.

Despite the lack of evidence to support such claims, France, Japan, and Estonia likewise followed suit on Sunday.

UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric on Tuesday stated that the United Nations lacks an alternative strategy to secure funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) following the suspension of contributions by donors.

On its part, the organization stated that if its funding is not resumed, it will not be able to continue operations in Gaza and across the region beyond the end of February.

Labour MP Asmund Aukrust told the Dagbladet newspaper that he had nominated the UNRWA “for its long-term work to provide vital support to Palestine and the region in general.”

Aukrust is vice-chairman of Norway’s parliament’s foreign affairs committee, and he expressed that the agency’s work has been crucial for more than 70 years.

A nomination does not guarantee recognition by the Nobel Committee, which receives hundreds of submissions each year.

Thousands of individuals, including politicians and cabinet members from all countries, previous laureates, and certain university professors, are eligible to nominate for the Nobel Peace Prize by the deadline of January 31.

Al-Haq, a Palestinian rights organization, and “Israel’s” B’Tselem have both been nominated.

Norway to stand by UNRWA amid false Israeli claims

Norway’s representative office to the Palestinian Authority stated on Saturday that it will continue to support the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), despite false Israeli allegations that its staff was involved in Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7.

The office posted a statement on X in which it noted that amid the “catastrophic” situation in Gaza, “UNRWA is the most important humanitarian organization there. Norway continues our support for the Palestinian people through UNRWA. International support for Palestine is needed now more than ever.”

The Norwegian mission stated that claims of UNRWA staff participating in the attacks were “very distressing” and applauded UNRWA’s investigation and asked for complete openness.

“We need to distinguish between what individuals may have done, and what UNRWA stands for. The organization’s tens of thousands of employees in Gaza, the West Bank and the region are playing a crucial role in distributing aid, saving lives and safeguarding basic needs and rights,” it explained.

According to the Palestinian Resistance factions, “Israel’s” attempts to incite against the roles of international relief agencies and institutions in Gaza are aimed at cutting their funding.

Israeli accusations to UN humanitarian organizations not new

The World Health Organization had earlier dismissed similar Israeli accusations that it is collaborating with the Palestinian Resistance, Hamas, by disregarding Israeli “proof” of “military use” of hospitals in the Gaza Strip.

According to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, such claims might harm the organization’s workers on the ground.

Ghebreyesus refuted the false accusations and called them “harmful” to workers involved in Gaza who are “risking their lives to serve the vulnerable.”

“As a United Nations agency, WHO is impartial and is working for the health and well-being of all people.”

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