Norwegian Member of Parliament Asmund Aukrust of the Labour Party has nominated the controversial United Nations agency UNRWA for the Nobel Peace Prize despite evidence that at least 12 UNRWA workers participated in the Oct. 7 atrocities committed by the Hamas terror group, including the massacre of 1,200 Israeli men, women and children.
Aukrust, who serves as the vice chairman of the Norwegian parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, argued that the Nobel Peace Prize nomination was meant to recognize UNRWA “for its long-term work to provide vital support to Palestine and the region in general.”
“This work has been crucial for over 70 years, and even more vital in the last three months,” he said.
UNRWA was tasked after the Arab-Israeli War in 1948 to provide schooling and healthcare for Arab refugees.
However, in light of recent developments, including evidence that UNRWA workers participated in the Oct. 7 massacre, Israel made a call to disband the organization.
In his Tuesday afternoon press briefing, Israeli Government Spokesman Eylon Levy called on nations to completely defund UNRWA, focusing on the mounting evidence of cooperation, cover-up and active participation of UNRWA employees in the terror activities of Hamas.
The aid agency “has been fundamentally compromised in three main ways,” Levy said. “Hiring terrorists on a massive scale, letting its infrastructure be used for Hamas military activity, and relying on Hamas for aid distribution in the Gaza Strip.”
In light of this “systemic rot,” the spokesman said, UNRWA should no longer function as an aid distribution agency.
“The UN has mechanisms. It has the ability to distribute aid and we would like to see the United Nations there as a new coordinator for humanitarian aid,” Levy added.
The United States, UNRWA's largest donor, recently decided to suspend its financial aid to UNRWA after troubling evidence that at least 12 UNRWA workers had participated in the Hamas atrocities during the lethal invasion of southern Israel on Oct. 7.
The U.S. State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller stressed that Washington is “extremely troubled” by UNRWA's strong affiliation with the terror group Hamas. "There must be complete accountability for anyone who participated in the heinous attacks," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly told the UN chief Antonio Guterres.
Since then, some dozen donor countries including Japan, the UK, Germany, Canada and Finland have suspended their respective financial aid to UNRWA.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who recently hosted a UN delegation in Israel, stressed that UNRWA is a complicit of the terror organization Hamas.
“UNRWA is totally infiltrated with Hamas, Netanyahu stated. “It has been in the service of Hamas and its schools, and in many other things, the Israeli premier added.
“We need to get other UN agencies and other aid agencies replacing UNRWA if we’re going to solve the problem of Gaza as we intend to do,” he argued. “There are other agencies in the UN. There are other agencies in the world. They have to replace UNRWA," Netanyahu said.
In December, testimonies from released Israeli hostages revealed that a UNRWA teacher and a Gazan doctor held hostages captive in the Gaza Strip.
Almog Boker a journalist from Israel's Channel 13 news who published the testimonies from the hostages, blasted UNRWA for its close affiliation with the terror group Hamas.
“'Uninvolved,’ they say, right? Well, read this story carefully. One of the abductees, held for nearly 50 days in an attic, reveals he was held by a UNRWA teacher – a father of ten children. This teacher locked the victim away, barely provided food, and neglected medical needs,” Boker said.
The Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee receives many nominations every year and is expected to announce the next winner in October. UNRWA is not the first controversial candidate to be nominated for the prominent Peace Prize.
In 1939, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1994, PLO terror chief, Yasser Arafat, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize alongside Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.