The announcement by several countries that they are cutting off funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) violates his decision International Court of Justice in The Hague and may also violate the International Convention on Genocide, an independent UN expert said today.

Francesca Albanese, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, recalls that the International Court of Justice in The Hague requested “to allow (the entry of) adequate humanitarian aid» for the people of Gaza.

Consequently, this decision (to suspend funding) by many countries constitutes “open disobedience to the order of the International Court of Justice in The Hague”.

“It’s a decision that will bring legal responsibilities – or the end of the international justice system,” he wrote on the X platform (Twitter).

Francesca Albanese, who is independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council, does not speak on behalf of the UN and points to the rapid sequence of events related to Unrwa.

“The day after the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that Israel may be committing genocide in Gaza, some countries decide to stop funding UNRWA, collectively punishing at a particularly critical time millions of Palestinians and possibly violating their obligations such as they derive from the Genocide Convention”, she writes in a separate post on X (Twitter).

The International Court of Justice in The Hague on Friday asked Israel to “prevent possible acts of genocide” and “immediately take measures to allow the provision of the humanitarian aid urgently needed by the Palestinians.”

Shortly after the ruling was read, Israel accused several UNRWA workers of participating in the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

The United States immediately reacted by announcing that it was cutting funding to UNRWA. Other countries such as Germany, Australia, Italy, Finland and the United Kingdom followed.

For its part, Unrwa reacted immediately to the Israeli accusations by removing the persons accused by Israel, committing to conduct an in-depth investigation and prosecute the persons, if their involvement is proven. However, Israel soon after announced its intention to ban the UN agency from operating after the war.