Japan suspends funding to UNRWA over alleged staff ties to Oct. 7 Hamas attack

Japan is suspending its additional funding to a UN agency for Palestinian refugees in response to alleged involvement by some of its staff members in the October 7 attack by Hamas militants on Israel.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry's Foreign Press Secretary Kobayashi Maki announced this in a statement on Sunday after the United States, Britain and other countries took similar action toward UNRWA.

Kobayashi says "Japan is extremely concerned about the alleged involvement of UNRWA staff members in the terror attack."

She says Japan has decided to suspend additional funding "for the time being while UNRWA conducts an investigation into the matter and considers measures to address the allegations."

She adds that "Japan has been strongly urging UNRWA to conduct the investigation in a prompt and complete manner and to take appropriate measures."

The Foreign Ministry says Japan earmarked about 35 million dollars as a contribution to UNRWA in the supplementary budget for the current fiscal year through March.

The ministry says the funds have not been remitted yet.

UNRWA stands for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.