Several countries including the UK have paused funding for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.
It comes after the agency announced the sacking of several of its staff over allegations they were involved in the 7 October Hamas attacks.
The UK government said it was “appalled” by Israel’s allegations.
The US, Australia, Italy, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany have also suspended additional funding to the UN agency.
Created in 1949, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, is the biggest UN agency operating in Gaza.
It provides health care, education and other humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
It employs around 13,000 people inside Gaza.Since Israel began its offensive in response to the 7 October attacks, UNRWA has used its facilities across Gaza to shelter hundreds of thousands of displaced civilians.
It says it has ordered an investigation into information supplied by Israel.Israel has long accused different branches of the United Nations including UNRWA of bias and even of antisemitism.
Speaking to the BBC, the organisation’s former chief spokesperson, Christopher Gunness, said that the suspension of aid to UNRWA was disproportionate and can only lead to further suffering in Gaza.
Mr Gunness believes UNRWA has demonstrated its zero-tolerance policy by sacking the staff members before their internal investigation was complete.
“One million displaced people are currently taking refuge in and around UNRWA buildings. They are the ones who will suffer as a result of this decision,” said Mr Gunness, adding: “The curtailing of UNRWA services will also destabilise the region at a time when Western governments are trying to contain a regional conflagration.”
On Friday, an adviser to the Israeli prime minister told the BBC that the 7 October Hamas attacks had involved “people who are on their [UNRWA] salaries”.
Mark Regev said there was information showing teachers working in UNRWA schools had “openly celebrated” the 7 October attacks.
He also referred to an Israeli hostage who, on her release, said she had been “held in the house of someone who worked for UNRWA”.
“They have a union which is controlled by Hamas and I think it’s high time that the UN investigated these links between UNRWA and Hamas,” he added.
The allegations prompted reaction from major donors. (BBC)