Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon announced a diplomatic offensive on Monday, to prevent international financial assistance to the Palestinians from falling into the hands of Hamas.
Speaking to reporters at the United Nations headquarters in New York, Danon cited repeated instances of humanitarian aid being diverted to help build Hamas’ terror infrastructure.
“The UN and other international organizations must put an immediate end to the exploitation of their funds and resources by Hamas,” Danon said. “We will not relent until the UN and other aid organizations begin to track and follow every dollar that enters the Gaza Strip.”
Danon’s briefing was timed to coincide with the annual donor conference for the Palestinian Authority and came one month after a Palestinian employee of the World Vision NGO and a Palestinian employee of Gaza’s UN Development Program were found to have transferred significant amounts of aid to Hamas.
“Israel welcomes the contributions of the donor countries and places great importance on these efforts,” said Danon.
Danon also noted that he has asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon for assistance in creating oversight mechanisms to prevent such transfers from recurring, but Ban’s office told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that the world body has sufficient controls in place.
“The UN has safeguards in place to track all the aid money it distributes, in Gaza and elsewhere,” Ban Ki-Moon’s office told TPS via email. “We will continue to follow this particular investigation and will respond accordingly.”
Danon also contacted World Vision, UNRWA, the Red Cross, USAID, AMIDEAST, Mercy Corps, International Orthodox Christian Charities, EU Humanitarian Aid and Development Department (ECHO), Germany’s International Aid Agency (GIZ) and the Norwegian Refugee Council, asking them all to improve the level of internal oversight in the provision of humanitarian aid.
Insisted Danon, “The international community cannot continue to believe that it is funding greenhouses while its money is really going towards digging tunnels and purchasing weapons.”